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It’s natural to get caught up in the minutiae of everyday life; between job expectations, social engagements, and the laundry list of personal tasks to check off at home, moments of true, in-the-moment tranquility can be few and far between. With that said, there’s no reason your day can’t be peppered with moments of happiness and appreciation—two mind-sets that can sometimes take a backseat to stress and determination.
Our friends over at MindBodyGreen know the struggle all too well, offering up a brief list of mental tips and tricks to get happier in an instant. The tip that stuck with me most is one that I turn to regularly: practicing gratitude. MindBodyGreen’s Rob Weiss references Brené Brown, an accomplished researcher and viral TED Talk speaker who’s devoted her life’s work to studying happiness what she calls “wholehearted living.”
After interviewing tens of thousands of people of all ages, races, sexual orientations, religions, political persuasions, locations, and more, Brown found one defining difference between those who are happy and those who aren’t: gratitude.
“Happy people are grateful for what they have,” writes Weiss. “It doesn’t matter what they have, as long as they’re grateful for it.” Grateful individuals naturally focus on what they have instead of what they don’t, enabling them to look at the positive aspects of life. “Because of this, they are more hopeful, less stressed out, and less likely to be anxious or depressed.”
For more on gratitude and happiness, I highly recommend Brené Brown’s best-selling book The Gifts of Imperfection.