Appreciation & Mindset: gratitude

In a good book the best is between the lines. –Swedish Proverb

Here’s what I’m currently reading—

My favorite books combine personal journey with research. I like reading about someone’s real-life story against the backdrop of science and study.

One study after another has connected gratitude to higher levels of happiness and lower levels of depression and stress. Researchers have found that people who write down three things they’re grateful for every night (or even a few times a week) improve their well-being and lower their risk of depression.

On my nightstand: The Gratitude Diaries

That’s why I’m loving The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life.

Author Janice Kaplan watches the ball drop in Times Square as she wonders what would make her feel happier by next New Year’s Eve.

Objectively, I knew my life was good—I had two terrific sons and a handsome husband, an interesting career and close friends. But like many people, I often focused on the negatives of life instead of the pleasures.”

The next morning Janice asks her husband, “Do you think I’m ungrateful?

I winced as her husband said, “You probably don’t appreciate what you have as much as you should. You pay too much attention to what’s wrong rather than what’s right.

Ouch. His answer hit a little too close to home.

Deciding it would be less about what actually happened in the coming 12 months and more her mood, spirit and attitude, Janice decides to undertake a gratitude experiment.

Vowing to spend a year living gratefully, she conducts a gratitude project in her own life—including marriage, love, family, money, career, stuff, health, and more.

“When we think about the big picture, we can make ourselves be grateful. But on a daily basis, a client is irritating, a boss is rude, there’s a lice outbreak at our kids’ school—and we get lost in the vexing details.”

If that sounds familiar, you’re going to love The Gratitude Diaries.

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