What am I grateful for?
Self-questioning can easily drift toward a focus on what’s missing in one’s life: Why don’t I have more money, a better job, a bigger house? Meanwhile, we tend to take for granted what we actually have going for us!
But happiness experts say that if you want to find a quick and easy way to bring more positive energy into your life, start by asking yourself the question above—and keep asking it, every day.
“Gratitude is a shortcut to happiness,” says the filmmaker Roko Belic, whose 2011 documentary Happy was a study in what makes some people happier than others.
The same conclusion was reached by Tal Ben-Shahar, a professor at Harvard University and author of Happier and Being Happy. He believes it’s important to “cultivate the habit of gratitude” by asking, at the end of each day, What am I grateful for? And writing the answers in a “gratitude journal.” He maintains that people who do this tend to be not only happier but also more successful and more likely to achieve their goals.
- Warren Berger