10 Things Grateful People Do Differently

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that in order to achieve contentment, one should “cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.”

Turns out Emerson — who explored the meaning of a good life in much of his work — wasn’t far off when it comes to what we now know about counting our blessings. Research is continually finding that expressing thanks can lead to a healthier, happier and less-stressed lifestyle.

“Life is a series of problems that have to be solved — and a lot of times those problems cause stress,” Robert Emmons, a gratitude researcher and psychology professor at the University of California, Davis, told The Huffington Post. “Gratitude can be that stress buster.”

The way we celebrate holidays often includes a rhetoric of adopting an attitude of gratitude — but what about after the leftovers and family china have been put away? How do we, as Emerson advised, be thankful for each thing that contributes to our lives?

Below find 10 habits that will help you cultivate gratitude on a regular basis.

1. Journal.

Research has shown that writing down what you’re thankful for can lead to a multitude of wellness benefits. Keeping a gratitude journal can reinforce positive thoughts — something particularly helpful as the brain tends to naturally focus on what goes wrong. Putting pen to paper can also help you make more progress as you work toward personal goals.

In order to reap the full benefits of journaling, Emmons recommends writing for five to 10 minutes every other day. “You really need to commit to doing it, and if you write it down eventually it will become more automatic,” Emmons says. “It’s like exercise — you’re not just going to get up one morning and go running, —> Read More