I’ve written a lot about gratitude as a happiness strategy. When you spend time thinking about ways you are grateful, and things and relationships in your life about which you are grateful, it’s hard to be unhappy at the same time. Gratitude is a proven activity of proactive positivity.
But in a recent article I read, the case was made for gratitude as a kindness strategy. Gratitude for others is tied to compassion, explained writer Annemarie Scobey. “When we feel grateful for our daughter, we are more likely to smile at her, we forgive her missteps, we listen better. The flip side of gratitude is resentment: We find fault with those we resent—we snap, we complain, we gossip.”
That puts a gratitude practice squarely in the middle of “Be Nice,” the second of my Six Simple Rules for a Better Life. At the same time, the example given by Scobey makes it clear how connected gratitude is to our own happiness. As any of us can easily imagine, when we adopt an attitude of resentment and spend our time snapping, complaining, or gossiping, that’s not a happy place to be.
Do you make the time each day or each week to make a gratitude list? What has your experience been? Please join the conversation with your comment…