Looking for ways to improve your happiness in the New Year? Try gratitude.

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Research shows that gratitude enhances your quality of life and acts as an instant happiness boost. As you reflect on the previous year, being thankful for past experiences are the key a positive future. Positive experiences, such as gratitude has also been proven to enhance your ability to handle adversity. You are also more likely to attract new friends and positive relationships by having a thankful outlook.

Here are a few ideas to on how to foster gratitude in your daily life:

Keep a gratitude journal

Each day, list one reason you are grateful. It can be a simple as being being grateful for a shorter queue at the coffee shop, or appreciating a new friend. This may seem forced at first, but writing down each reason will increase you awareness of the positive experience in your life. And it acts as a great reminder when you’re feeling low.

Remember the negative experiences

This may seem counter-intuitive, but instead of obsessing about negative experiences, focus on the lessons you’ve learned and the strength you’ve gained from them instead. This will encourage you to be grateful for these experiences instead of simply feeling sorry for yourself. Each negative experience comes with an opportunity for growth.

Look and listen

Don’t take the good that is already present in your life for granted. Actively look for reasons to be grateful. Be more conscious of the environment around you, and the small things people do to improve your day, that you may be taking for granted, and thank them. Being more thankful for the small things you already have in your life, as opposed to holding out for bigger achievements or acquisitions, will bring you joy on a daily basis.

Express it

Verbalising your appreciation can instantly improve your relationships. A simple “Thanks”, or a coffee leaves a lasting impression and takes gratitude to a whole new level.

Once you are oriented towards gratitude, appreciating everyday pleasures becomes second nature. Start today and you’re guaranteed a happier new year.

What are you grateful for? Tell us in the comments below.

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