Simply Put – Gratitude Makes Life Better

There’s not a single downside to gratitude — except that it’s easy to ignore.

When put into practice, gratitude creates a virtuous circle. It fosters contentment, joy, respect, and connection to our world and the people in it. You might say it’s a recipe for happiness.

Gratitude makes us feel good inside. And when we share it, other people feel good inside. And you know what happens then: The feel-good-insiders send their goodwill to more people, who in turn start feeling good inside. Good feelings boomerang everywhere.

Now if that sounds too absurdly optimistic, consider this: Free-flowing gratitude can help you get unstuck. “Feeling good lubricates mental efficiency, making people better at understanding information and using decision rules in complex judgments,” writes psychologist Daniel Goleman in his book Primal Leadership. Translation: It makes you smarter.

The rub is, we can’t just hit-and-run with gratitude — you know, give a little to get a little. Any feel-good spike we may achieve will quickly erode. But if we consider and express gratitude regularly, then we can maintain our good feelings. It’s a matter of creating the habit.

Try this: Whatever your get-things-done method is, fold in a “what are you grateful for?” reminder. Then come up with ways to act on your gratitude.

Here are 40 to get you started.