When it comes to happiness, I don’t think anything makes a difference more than gratitude. In our increasingly consumerist media-driven society, its so easy to become focused on everything you don’t have (the career you don’t have, the iphone you don’t have, etc). I’ve found that when I’m in a rut, the easiest way to get out of it is to stop for a minute and count my blessings.
A technique I often use I call the “gratitude trick,” which takes gratitude a step further:
- Picture your life as it is, paying attention to the things you have
- Picture you life reversed, without all the things you now have
The reason this works so well, is that it makes it much much easier to really appreciate the things you have after you picture what it would be like to lose them all. If you have a hard time being grateful, give this a try–works every time for me.