Research shows that gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.
I’ve certainly found this true in my own life: the more I focus my attention on what I’m grateful for and what’s going well, rather than on what sucks about my life, the happier I am.
This is true regardless of how much money I’m making or not making, my relationship status, my health, my weight, and all of the other trappings and markers of social status.
So for Thanksgiving, and inspired by this post by Jeff Goins, I thought I’d share a list of 10 things I’m particularly thankful for right now that have nothing to do with any of the above.
If it inspires you, share your own list in the comments below.
Here (in no particular order) are 10 things that are better than money:
- Long walks
Actually, it’s been a long time since I had one. Time to make a date with my husband!
- A clutter-free space
As a naturally cluttery person, I’ve spent most of my life longing for a home where there’s a space for everything, and everything has a space, but being very far from that ideal. After years of effort, though, the downstairs of our townhouse is actually amazingly zen, and I am loving it! (The upstairs, on the other hand, has a long way to go…)
- Long hugs with loved ones
Nothing gets the oxytocin flowing like a good, long hug.
- Sitting on the couch with my kitty
I’ve been learning French with Duolingo app, and my kitty, Nika, loves to sit on the couch with me while I put in my French time. I adore this time in the evenings!
- Being in Flow
Whether it’s doodling, or rock climbing, or improvising, or doing anything else, I’m grateful for every single time I get to enter into a Flow state and leave my ego behind.
- Learning something new
Right now that new thing is LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®. It’s not just a new thing I’m learning, I’ve discovered a new passion, and I’m profoundly grateful for that.
- Overcoming a big challenge
Being in the middle of the challenge isn’t always fun, let’s face it, but overcoming the challenge feels like a million bucks!
- Making a difference
Actually, that’s one of my top values and Pillars of Happiness. Seeing the look in someone’s eye that tells me I’ve made a difference for them makes my toes tingle.
Improv is play, which almost always puts me into a state of Flow, so this is intimately tied to #5 above. I am profoundly grateful to live in the SF Bay Area, home to some of the best improv theater and schools in the world. I only wish I’d started improv sooner! It is perhaps the single most transformative thing that anyone could do to impact your life and work.As Kat Koppett said in my conversation with her for the podcast, “Improv is the gym for life.”
- Good books
Omigod, good authors of the world, you tell wonderful stories and help turn my spinny-thinky brain off at night! Bless you!
I could go on, but ten is a nice, round number. What’s your list of ten?
PS — Pssst! Know someone who might benefit from seeing this today? Pass it on!