Gratitude and the How of Happiness
The How of Happiness
The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky is a book I love recommending. This researcher poured over tons of studies on what factors are scientifically proven to boost levels of happiness. She then whittled these results down to 12 activities/mindsets that boost happiness. From there, you can take a quiz in her book to identify which 4 factors are your personal top 4 out of the 12. This way you can find your natural fits; the 4 ways you naturally and easily can boost your mood. From there she explores all 12 in detail offering great ideas for practicing these 12 ways, but of course you can focus on your top 4. Sounds great doesn’t it? No easy task; thank you Dr. Lyubomirsky for doing all this work for us!
Benefits of the Book
I love this book for what it offers and for the fact it is based on psychological research, so we can trust the recommendations. One of the 12 factors is practicing gratitude. Now, this may or may not be one of your top 4, but it is a popular activity; for those out there who are familiar with 12 step programming, you know all about this strategy.
Sometimes I recommend to people to make a gratitude list. I’ve had some people melt with despair at the thought of even writing 10 things to be grateful for; little do they know they’re getting off easy with 10—I’ve personally been tasked with 50 or 100 items, daily! What a great exercise especially after the dumpster fire of a year 2020 has been for many. It might be more important to try this exercise this year more than in any years in recent history (I’m sure the 1918 Spanish Flu crowd was busy writing their lists too).
What can we focus on that went right? We still had sunshine, nourishment, Netflix, and shelter. Ok, there are people in the world who only had 1 out of those 4; maybe more reason for those of us who had 4/4 to be grateful.