Will you be happier if you choose gratitude?

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While many of us believe, practice and embody a life of gratitude, sometimes we wonder if it is all a bunch of new age mumbo jumbo. I am the first one to raise my hand wildly and say "It's real, it WORKS!"

The proof I have? My own experience. It was with a cup of coffee and a joyful smile I read this op-ed piece in the New York Times on Sunday. Arthur C. Brooks writes about gratitude and the thoughts, feelings and common sense behind it's benefits. He also sites several research studies that prove living in a state of gratitude is a preferred state of being.

"Evidence suggests that we can actively choose to practice gratitude and that doing so raises our happiness." ~ Arthur C. Brooks.

What I found most interesting (and validating!) was his suggestion to make gratitude a routine. He suggests beginning with "interior gratitude,' the practice of giving thanks privately." He then mentions to move toward 'exterior gratitude,' by focusing on writing letters (yes letters!) to people you care about and your colleagues.

Lastly, he encourages us to be 'grateful for useless things,' the little things we take for granted - the colors of the leaves changing, the beauty of song, the reliability of the mail coming every day.

You can read the entire column here.  I sure hope you do. After you read it, let me know what you think in the comments below. #30daysofgratitude feels so very good.

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