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Happiness & the Importance of Gratitude

What are you most thankful for? Who is responsible for making the major impact on your life? Does this person know? Take a moment to reflect on the last time you thanked this person. If you have not done so already, it is never to late. Expressing gratitude can add happiness to someone’s life.

According to Robert Emmons, professor at University of California-Davis, expressing gratitude is the greatest contributing factor to personal happiness. When we take the time to express our gratitude for the positive influences in our lives, it is a testament to our well-being, it benefits our overall energy and helps us in our social connections. Happiness is a choice. Spend more time reflecting on the good in your life and it can overpower the negative. Your relationships will begin to flourish and people will want to spend time with you.


With several holidays approaching, it is a great time to start expressing to those we appreciate but it should not stop there. Extending our thanks beyond the day of an extravagant home-cooked meal and reflection could help us in our daily pursuit of happiness.

This is one of the most powerful videos alive today. I previewed it in class and students were speechless. We took part in the reflection exercise and wrote letters to the person we wanted to thank. This video brought emotion to all. In a reflective experiment, the researchers at Soul Pancake illustrate the impact of positivity that follows when you reach out to those you are thankful.

The actual experiment conducted by the PPC (Positive Psychology Center) of the University of Pennsylvania can be found here.

The Science of Happiness – An Experiment of

Gratitude (7:14)

Related links:

“Happiness” (the practice of  happiness) : http://blog.lib.umn.edu/meriw007/psy_1001/2011/11/happiness-d.php

“Happiness is Not a Destination”: http://www.dailytransformations.com/happiness-isnt-destination-point-view/

Pharrell Williams – “Happy” (Official Video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6Sxv-sUYtM


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