A Week of Gratefulness & 24 Hours of Happiness


If gratefulness brings us more happiness, why don’t we practice it every day?

This video makes a strong case for how gratefulness can bring more happiness in your life:

So, how do we turn gratefulness into a daily habit?

Well I personally like the Seinfeld technique for developing habits. Jerry Seinfeld, arguably one of the most successful comedians in the world, said that,

“the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day. But his advice was better than that. He had a gem of a leverage technique he used on himself and you can use it to motivate yourself—even when you don’t feel like it.

He revealed a unique calendar system he uses to pressure himself to write. Here’s how it works.

He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.

He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

“Don’t break the chain,” he said again for emphasis.

I love this, and you could apply it to any habit you’re trying to develop in your life.

So let’s do this for gratefulness!

Before you buy a big calendar, here is a method that I just started trying, and maybe it will work for you:

A Week Of Gratefulness

  1. Get a piece of paper.
  2. Get a pen.
  3. Put them next to your bed.
  4. Right when you wake up or before you fall asleep, right down one thing in your life that you’re grateful for, the first thing that comes to mind.
  5. Do this once a day for one week. At the end of the week, take time to look at what you wrote throughout the week
  6. Repeat, and tell someone you care about to give it a try.

“Will this actually work for me though?”

Well Georgia Psychological Association report found that

“those who kept gratitude journals felt better about their lives. Compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events, those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week (Emmons & McCullough, 2003). A related benefit was also observed in the realm of personal goal attainment: Compared to research participants in the other experimental conditions, participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal and health-based) over a two-month period.

A daily gratitude intervention (self-guided exercises) resulted in more positive effects that did the weekly intervention. A daily gratitude intervention resulted in higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, and energy compared to a focus on daily hassles or a downward social comparison (ways in which participants thought they were better off than others). Compared to participants who were instructed to focus on daily hassles or social comparisons, those who used the daily gratitude intervention were more likely to report having helped someone with a personal problem or having offered emotional support to another person (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).

So give it a try and let us know how it goes! Or let us know what method works for you!

I’m grateful that you’ve read this whole post, and I hope it brings more happiness to your life.

I’m also grateful to my friend Laura for sharing with me this article from the Washington Post discussing gratitude.

And if you need more motivation for finding 24 hours of happiness, this should inspire you: 24hoursofhappy.com.

by blieberman

2 thoughts on “A Week of Gratefulness & 24 Hours of Happiness

  1. Pat Cole says:

    HI Brian. I read this and it reminded me of a couple of friends I have on Facebook. They have been writing all year one a day, something that they are thankful for. My one friend is up to the mid 400’s. So I think I will try doing that beginning now.

    I am thankful for you and your big heart. Bless you this Hanukkah season. And may your life be filled with many opportunities to serve others.
    Aunt Pat

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *