Wednesday, November 24, 2010
My grandma always had a way of making the most of every situation. She was the epitome of one who took lemons and made lemonade no matter what came her way. Was she naturally a glass-is-half-full kind of person? I'm not sure, but she sure was determined to be.
According to the late researcher David Lykken, happiness is based half on our genes and the other half is up to us. Gratitude can have a major impact on raising our happiness level, but giving thanks is a learned habit. Writing a simple list of things to be grateful for each day can help form this habit. Furthermore, people who jot their gratitude down are 25 percent happier than those who don't, claims a study by Robert Emmons, author of Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier.
Recent research confirms what my wise grandma knew back then, that counting our blessings brings health, healing and longer life. In fact, one newly published study in Psychology Science found that positive people had stronger immunities than their pessimistic peers. Being grateful helps us focus on the positive. Just like the Old Testament says, "A merry heart is good medicine."
By starting each day off focusing on the good things in life and giving thanks for them can set a positive tone for the rest of the day.
Like my grandma, we have to be determined to be grateful and as a reward we'll reap its benefits.