Retirement – Mind & emotions: Being grateful is good for you

I’m guessing that many of us have been making New Year resolutions which hopefully haven’t been abandoned yet. Many resolutions are about improving our lives in various ways and looking for better outcomes in 2018. I’d like to suggest that as well as looking for things that will improve our lives, we should also take the time to be grateful for what we already have. We tend not to think much about all the advantages and possessions we have. Instead we are encouraged to focus on the things we want in the belief that having them will make us happy.

It’s easy to take for granted our relatively secure existence as we live in a free, democratic society where we are unlikely to be shot, bombed, starved or imprisoned. Millions of people don’t share our good fortune.

You may find that spending some time thinking about all the benefits that you currently have and being grateful for them will actually make you feel happier. As our happiness is far more dependent on internal issues like our attitude and how we view the world, than it is on external things like a new car or an overseas holiday, by regularly thinking about the good things in our lives, and being grateful for them, we can change our thinking to be more positive and this will help us to be happier people.

So a very useful New Year resolution would be to spend a few minutes every night sitting quietly and thinking about the good things you enjoyed that day and being grateful for them. Most of us will find that the advantages we enjoy far outweigh the bad things that happen to us.

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