Expressing gratitude is a research-based method for increasing happiness
I am grateful to wake up in the morning, refreshed.
I am grateful to write at this keyboard, energized.
I am grateful for family nearby, to join lives in support.
I am grateful for the bonds of friendship, whether decades or days.
I am grateful for these years of a lighter load, to do as I choose in retirement.
I am grateful for books, for reading, for travels into the imagination, for learning.
I am grateful for flowers, those I hang and plant, and those I visit and those that bloom quietly in deep forest glens, never seen by humans but part of the world’s canvas.
I am grateful to walk by the river, a tidal river, and watch osprey, seals, boaters, currents, tides, the creeks rising and falling as they flow into the river, the migrations of fish and fishing boats, the keystone salmon on their runs.
I am grateful for love passed to the scrim’s other side, but continuing in memories and dreams and daily habits.
I am grateful for the seasonal rotation of succulent fruit, harvesting the bounty, farmer’s markets, the rich soiled valley.
I am grateful for cool nights and cooling breezes.
I am grateful for the pleasures of writing, the lilt and sway and conjuring and transporting on the flying carpets of words.
I am grateful for a body that mostly works.
I am grateful for my ancestors who rode ships and waves and depressions and wars and bore children and raised crops and cleaned houses and cooked to please others and themselves with their skills.
I am grateful for children and grandchildren and their long reach into the future, with hopefulness.
I am grateful for a meaningful career that built up lives and programs and buildings and teams and leaders.
I am grateful for the 45th parallel uniting major chunks of my life, 16 hours of daylight, halfway between the equator and north pole, walking distance from my house, where I could stand midway between the coasts and the meridians, a line and life extending from the Atlantic to Pacific, from pole to pole.
I am grateful for fishing as a child and all the metaphors it gave me, my dreams, drifting on dappled waves.
I am grateful for travel through the world, just a little, and the world coming to me, a lot, through multi-colored experience and people and the internet and pictures and words and understanding.
I am grateful for music, transported by notes, for singing in harmony, loudly if not tunefully, for concerts that made me laugh or weep, for the technology that allows me music at any time.
There is a direct link between happiness and gratitude. Expressing gratitude brings about happiness for the one giving thanks.
Three common ways people can express their gratitude are:
By being gracious of their past (i.e., think of positive childhood memories)
By being gracious for the present (i.e., taking time to be present and enjoy)
By being grateful for what’s to come (i.e., hopeful and optimistic of the future) (Giving thanks makes you happier).