Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude.
“The doors of happiness remain locked,” says our friend, Fawn Weaver, founder of the Happy Wives Club website. “When they are unlocked, they swing open quickly and widely but close right behind them. They must be reopened throughout each day and there is but one key that fits that lock: Gratitude.”
Studies back up this poetic notion. A growing body of research has tied an attitude of gratitude to numerous benefits, including happiness and more.
The Wall Street Journal summarized the research:
Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not. They’re also less likely to be depressed, envious, or greedy. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly, and have greater resistance to illness.
Not a bad bundle of benefits.
But there’s an even more astounding and measurable benefit to our well being when it comes to cultivating gratitude.
After doing research involving thousands of people conducted by a number of different researchers around the world Dr. Robert Emmons – who has been studying gratitude for more than a decade and is considered by many to be the world’s leading authority on gratitude – says this: Studies show that practicing gratitude can increase happiness levels by around 25 percent.
Not bad, right?
How would your marriage look if over the next few days if you became 25 percent happier? How about if your partner was suddenly 25 percent happier?
It’s impossible to separate gratitude from happiness. You can’t have one without the other. And it’s impossible to exaggerate what gratitude can do to boost the level of happiness in your marriage.
Reflect and Respond
Make a list within the next 24 hours of 10 things you appreciate about your spouse – make the list longer than 10, if you like. Tell us how it changed the mood in your marriage.
Go ahead, tell us in the comments.
Making Happy explores the science, the art, and the practice of happiness in marriage. Drawing from real-life examples, Drs. Les and Leslie offer insights into how your brain and relationship affect each other as you make happiness in your marriage a conscious, delightful habit.