Paul Hargreaves: Thankfulness
In a tough period during the summer I read a book called “thanks” by Dr Robert Emmons. This is a scientific book telling us how people’s happiness increases if they are deliberately more thankful as they travel through their lives. It is telling us what we already know that Thankfulness and gratitude makes you happy.
I decided to practice the “attitude of gratitude” every morning and was actively thankful for what I have – a lot compared to many in the world! Whilst any problems certainly didn’t disappear overnight, there was a greater lightness as I went about my day. I can thoroughly recommend it. Dr Emmons suggests writing a gratitude journal and through monitoring those who did against a test group, there was a 25% increase in happiness in those who kept the journal.
If nothing else, I am sure we would rather be a glass-half-full person rather than a glass-half-empty person for our families, our work colleagues and our customers, wouldn’t we? I write in my book, Forces for Good, about ‘mood-hoovers’. These are those people who constantly drag everyone in a room or office down with them and degrade the atmosphere. I have had to get rid of a couple of people like this at Cotswold Fayre many years ago. Now, if you have read this far, you are probably not one of these, but how about that we aspire to be a ‘mood-lifter’ this week. Be one of those who puts a smile on other’s faces? The way we arrive there is through being thankful.
I am still learning, but I have noticed since starting this that I am more keenly aware of those whose circumstances are far worse than mine. Maybe I wasn’t listening hard enough before but there really is so much hardship and pain in the world, we have a lot to be grateful for. It’s #GE2019 this week which I know is depressing many of us, so let’s make a positive effort to be thankful this week and it may not turn out as badly as some of us fear!