After sinking into depression last year, I was so desperate to free myself that I tried anything and everything I could. I'd heard that frequent gratitude can increase happiness, but I didn't really know why — other than the obvious: If you focus on what you are grateful for, you'll likely realize that your troubles aren't as bad as they seem.
But that was good enough for me, so I grabbed onto gratitude like a life raft, and it pulled me out of one of the lowest times in my life. Now, one year later, I teach mindfulness to elementary school children and have written a book called The Joy Plan about my life-changing journey from depression to joy. Having a regular gratitude practice was and continues to be a key component of my "joy plan."
And through my journey, I’ve learned the nitty-gritty, biological reasons that gratitude can make you happy, and maybe (I don’t say this lightly) change your life. Here's how it works: