Thanksgiving Holds Key To Happiness

(Source: The Smile’s Thanksgiving on Nowness.com)

According to Randy Taran, author, founder and Chief Happiness Officer at Project Happiness, Thanksgiving, and gratitude, hold the key to a happy life.  Here are some of her tips for extending the happiness throughout the year from her article Thanksgiving Holds The Key To Happiness:

1. Gratitude Dinners: What if you planned a weekly "Gratitude Dinner" where each person shares what they appreciate about the person sitting next to them? This is sure to bring out the best in everyone and can be an island of joy amidst a week of very hectic lives.

2. Gratitude Boosts: What if when you notice those pesky warning signs of a stressful incident just waiting to happen, you just pause to take three deep breaths and with each one, think about something that you are grateful for? Really picture it in your mind and feel it. It could be as simple as I'm grateful for pancakes, or how my dog greets me. It could be a special smile that made your day or that you gave to make someone else's. It could be a small act of kindness, or a conversation that really brought you closer to someone you care about. When stressed out, breathe in gratitude.

3. Gratitude Rewiring: Research has shown that reflecting on people or things we are grateful for helps to not only dissipate stress, it actually helps develop new neural pathways. When we get into the habit of being grateful, "the neurons that fire together wire together." Although it takes repetition, focusing on gratitude can in time become our go-to reaction.

Things to think about this Thanksgiving!  This Thanksgiving, why not note some of your family traditions and think about how they might work to make you happier if you incorporated them into your daily life. You might be surprised to find how powerful gratitude is on all the other days of the year.

And it's not just about you.  According to Dr. K.L. Seshagiri Rao at gratefulness.org, "The attitude of gratefulness will bring happiness and harmony to society and to humanity at large."  That's a powerful statement!  Worth giving gratitude year-round a try.

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