30 Apr Gratitude Is A Key To Happiness: 4 Reasons Why
via Forbes by Tracy Bower
Happiness can seem illusive sometimes, especially during hard times. But there’s a surprisingly accessible pathway to contentment, joy and positivity: gratitude. Studies demonstrate gratitude is associated with all kinds of goodies like life satisfaction, health, wellbeing and happiness.
It’s logical there should be so much data on happiness. After all, almost every society across the globe values it as a fundamental part of the human experience and in the U.S., we even identify happiness in our constitution as an inalienable right. Scientists have also investigated gratitude because of the strong connections to mental health and physical wellbeing. But the real magic is that the two are also positively related to each other. Both gratitude and happiness also have genetic components. Your choices matter, and interestingly, they may also be in your DNA.
Ironically, seeking happiness itself can actually make you less happy. This is likely because running after happiness focuses you on what you don’t have—always pursuing something that reminds you it’s not already in your possession. On the other hand, when you cultivate gratitude, it tends to result in greater happiness. Here’s why:
Studies at the University of Montana found when people expressed more gratitude they tended to also report greater levels of happiness. This was significantly based on the way gratitude affected human relationships. People tend to feel more positively about themselves and others when they express gratitude and hear expressions of gratitude. This has to do with the positive social meanings we ascribe to gratitude. In fact, the University of New South Whales found when people heard someone express gratitude, they were more likely to conclude they could form a meaningful relationship with the person…
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