Recently I was introduced to a book called “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. I believe we all want to be happy and work to attain those things that we believe will make us happy. Sadly, those things aren’t always the source of happiness that we want them to be!
Rubin believes that an important part of working towards being happier is to be grateful, and to put a voice to that gratitude, either in a gratitude journal or by simply reflecting often on what there is in life to be grateful for. It’s so easy to focus on the things that are not going well and on mistakes and regrets of the past. Even though much of this is human nature, she realized that there was so much in her life to be grateful for. If she thought about it and put it into words, it stuck with her for much longer than just a moment. It colored how she felt for some time afterwards.
This really resonated with me. Even though I have so much to be grateful for, I rarely make a conscious effort to vocalize it. But since we started ThankYouPro, I have written more thank you notes than in my entire life. Clearly, that started because it’s now our business, but it is also because the app makes it fun and easy. The notes are one way that I have given voice to my gratitude. The more notes I write, the more occasions I find to say thank you. Pretty much every day, there is some kindness someone has done for me, or some event in which I was included that gave me joy, or just for time spent together on a project. I find myself consciously looking for opportunities to say thank you.
The really interesting thing is that I am not looking for or expecting feedback from the recipients. It’s enough for me to do it. I’m sure there is some point of overdoing it, but for now I am in agreement with Rubin. Giving voice to my gratitude is resulting in a significant bump in happiness.