Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Learning To Be Thankful

Thanksgiving is a happy time of year. Have you ever thought about why? Sure, food is awesome and turkey boosts your brain's feel-good sensors, but that's not the only reason this time of year induces warm fuzzies. I think it's because we, as Americans, typically tend to spend more time in November focusing on the things we're thankful for. And that makes us happy.

It's easy to get bogged down by the one little thing that isn't going right when we have so much to be thankful for. It's because humans have this thing called a negativity bias. The negative parts of our lives tend to stand out to us; they're generally more memorable to us than positive experiences. (Some psychologists say we, as humans, need to have as many as 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction.) They consume more of our attention, and we spend more time and mental energy focusing on the negatives rather than the things we have to be grateful for.

Here's the good news: with a little mental energy, this can be remedied. Psychologists have found that consciously practicing gratitude can increase happiness levels by around 25%. If you're bummin' about that one little thing, or if you feel like you don't have much to be thankful for, reevaluate. Start small. Say thanks. Be happy.

Above is a small list of things I'm thankful for, in no particular order. I intentionally left my friends off this list because I wouldn't have enough space on the internet to list all the friendships I'm blessed by. And my mom. Love you, Mom!

1. Ink on paper
2. Travel
3. Home
4. Sunsets
5. Music
6. Fitz
7. Saturdays
8. Family
9. Blue Skies

Post a Comment