The Power of Positivity and Thankfulness
In the spirit of the holidays, I thought I would write about being thankful. I am a big proponent of the power of positivity. I think that making the best of a bad situation, finding the silver lining, and looking on the bright side are much more constructive paths than trying to find things to be angry about. With everyday stresses, traffic, and holiday shopping insanity – there’s enough to frustrate you without honing in on only the negatives in life. I have also read that finding things to be grateful for, and recognizing them each day, can help you to become a happier individual.
In this study, participants were instructed to write down three positive things that went well that day, and the cause of why they went well, every night for one week. This had a long-lasting impact. After one week, participants were 2% happier than before, and in follow-up tests, participant’s happiness kept on increasing, from 5% at one month, to 9% at six months, if they continued the habit of keeping a gratefulness journal. (2005, American Psychologist Journal)
In the day and age of trying to buy our happiness with the next techy gadget, the designer purse, or the cute new outfit – it is humbling to know that we can actually control our own happiness levels (for free!) by simply finding the good in each day, recognizing it, and writing it down.
If you think about your daily interactions with others, isn’t it much more pleasant to be around the cheerful, positive lady at the bank, than the scowling man who pushed past you on the sidewalk? Positivity is a two-way street – recognizing and being thankful for the good things in life can scientifically make you happier, but as a bonus, it also makes it more pleasant for others to be around you.
I challenge you to set aside a week in the next month and try keeping a positivity journal. Be thankful for the small things in life that you sometimes take for granted, write them down, and begin to change your mind set for the better.
What are you thankful for today?[hupso]