What is the secret to happiness?
Everyone wants to be happy. But finding the way to ultimate bliss is almost always hard. The world is so demanding that keeping up is even harder.
However, in the past several years, science keeps unfolding the factors of happiness. One of the essential contributors to happiness is gratitude.
Perhaps you already know that gratitude helps us feel better, sleep better, lowers our stress level, and makes us more optimistic.
Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at UC Davis said that:
“Clinical trials indicate that the practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life.”
But what can you do to experience its benefits?
In his study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Emmons found that keeping a gratitude journal makes people happier.
After a month of daily journaling, participants increased their subjective happiness by 10 percent. This happiness level usually experienced by people who got promoted to their job.
The conclusion was drawn from two groups of participants. One group was instructed to write their daily activities. While the other group was instructed to record something that makes them happy each day.
The findings suggest that participants in the gratitude group had a higher level of satisfaction with their lives than the control group. They are more positive and had a better interpersonal relationship with others.
The researchers concluded that “It appears that participation in the gratitude condition led to substantial and consistent improvements in people’s assessments of the global well-being.”
Taken the findings into consideration, to be happy you don’t need perks. All you need is a pen and notebook. And a little pinch of time.
Write at least three to five things you are grateful for each day and the day before. Don’t worry about the “not so good” experience. Just focus on the positives.
You don’t have to think about it. Just write the first positive thing that comes to your mind. The simpler and shorter your sentences, the better. Make it a habit. Along the way, you’ll notice that the secret to happiness is really on a paper.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.