Do you remember that old song: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” We need that reminder sometimes.
To really be happy, however, not worrying is not enough. Here’s a better song: “Be grateful. Be happy.”
Gratitude is the secret to happiness. It pushes away negative emotions. It is is impossible to feel grateful and angry at the same time.
It also makes us more present. Author Robert Holden points out, “The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become.”
Just last week I was visiting someone in the hospital. The elevator stopped on almost every floor. At each stop someone wheeled in on a wheelchair, or was lifted in by orderlies on a gurney.
When I got to my floor, I said a silent prayer of gratitude. How lucky I was to be able to walk, breathe on my own, and support an ill friend in need…
I felt more present in my body and more satisfied with the responsibilities and blessings it offered.
Do you struggle with gratitude? Do you look around and tend to see the darkness rather than the light?
Try this exercise: every night, before you go to sleep, write down three things you are grateful for. It works wonders.
The technique was pioneered by Dr. Martin Seligman. It has worked consistently with people of all ages.
If you would like to try it, you can get this gratitude tracker. It is FREE when you pre-order the book: The Happiness Prayer: Ancient Jewish Wisdom for the Best Way to Live Today.
For $16, you get a book to change your life, and a tool to help you get started right away.