Rick Foster and Greg Hicks set out on a three-year journey to study extremely happy people. In their book How we Choose to be Happy, they found that there are 9 choices happy people make. One of those nine is to practice appreciation.
Happy people actively exercise gratitude and choose to live with an attitude of gratitude. They don't buy into what geneticists say, that we have an unmovable “happiness set-point.” The happiest people, according to behaviorists, can move beyond that biological setpoint through practices such as yoga and gratitude meditation. In fact, many studies suggest that gratitude can bring a positive mindset.
This means that by learning to practice active gratitude, we can actually raise our “happiness set-point,” regardless of the situation.
Who else knew what brings about lasting happiness, no matter the circumstance?
The mystic Rumi suggests the answer when he says, “Work in the invisible world at least as hard as you do in the visible.” The invisible world is within you, and it’s where lasting happiness resides.
Besides a higher happiness set-point, other benefits of gratitude include:
- Feeling more connected (less lonely)
- Stronger immune system
- Improved emotional equilibrium
- Better sleep
- Increased energy
- More confidence in ourselves
- Deeper relaxation
- We are more attractive
- Increased creativity
- Easier bounce back from difficulty
So today, make a point to tap into your invisible world through gratitude practice. You already have everything you need. Or as Joseph Campbell cites from a Polynesian saying, “We are standing on a whale, fishing for minnows.”
What you are looking for—what we are all looking for—is as close as our invisible world of the self. Happiness is the whale right under your feet.
Love yourself, love your day, love your life!
Studies prove this exercise increases a sense of well-being by 10%. Try it and find out for yourself!
For the month of November, maintain a Gratitude Journal. Every morning, start your day with a simple gratitude meditation about 3-10 things you are grateful for both big and small. Simply jot down the little moments of grace that happen effortlessly in your life.
You will be amazed at how these small blessings cultivate a beautiful "just right" abundance of love and joy.
Make the whole month about giving thanks, not just one day.