Expressing gratitude has been shown to increase happiness. It might sound obvious, but it’s true. However, what might not be as obvious, is that it makes everyone involved happier. That is to say, the person hearing it and the person expressing it both feel happier as a result of gratitude being shown. Once you know this it might make you wonder… why don’t we do it more often? It’s a fair question, and one we often wonder about.

When it comes down to it, you could put the majority of our decisions and actions down to a desire to be happy. Buying an expensive pair of shoes, choosing to play video games instead of studying, opening a packet of Oreos (even though Hobnobs are significantly better). The problem with a lot of these attempts at happiness is that they come with a price, sometimes literally a monetary price, but often at times the price is future unhappiness once the repercussions of no studying and multiple packets of biscuits come catching up with us.

Not to mention the fact that a lot of our attempts to improve happiness are in fact illusions, and they don’t actually bring the happiness we’re chasing. The newest fashion trend, the latest technology, a nicer car. Our brains can easily default to obsessing over things that we don’t have, and the process resets each time you get the thing you thought you “needed”.

Instead, focussing on what we do have will definitely make us feel happier, without any price to pay. It can be easy to take something for granted if it’s always been there for you. Family, teachers, friends, a roof over your head, a cupboard full of Hobnobs. It’s only when we take the time to consciously appreciate these things that we realise just how much there is to be thankful for.

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