For the past few weeks we’ve been talking about happiness. Focusing on our own happiness isn’t frivolous, as you know. Research shows happier people are more creative, productive, energetic, engaged, flexible, healthy and resilient. Well-being, or happiness,  is more than being healthy. It’s a positive state of flourishing and growth. Our genes account for about half of our happiness level, but a good deal of it (40%) is under our control. That’s good news. It helps to know what kind of things give us a lasting happiness boost. It turns out it’s not a change in circumstances (unless those circumstances are truly dire). It’s not acquiring things. Psychologist, author and researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky identifies 5 research-based “hows” of happiness, and 10 happiness strategies to try. The first “how” is positive emotion, and we’ve tried out the strategy of practicing gratitude and positive thinking. How has the journaling been going? Are you writing once a week? More often?

Here’s another way to express gratitude. Express your feelings of gratitude directly to another person.We might tend be better at speaking up when someone does something wrong than letting them know when they’ve done something that makes things better for those around them.  I know when I get busy and stressed I have to remind myself to do this. Inevitably it’s worth the time, whether I take a few minutes for a quick thank you, sit down for a longer talk, make a call, or write a letter or card. Try it out. Tell that person in specific terms what you are grateful for and how they have affected your life. You’ll make them feel great, and you’ll be focusing on a positive part of your life, which  will increase your own happiness. Want more ideas on expressing gratitude directly to people? Read The Most Underutilized Tool For Making People Happier at Work.


Lyubomirsky, S. (2007). The how of happiness. Penguin Books.

Write about your how your happiness-boosting is going here or post below.

And have a Happy Friday!