Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the US, and I look forward to many good things, including good food and good company. I will (and already do) have much to be thankful for. It’s tempting to think that I can be happy because of all the good things in my life, but I am reminded that to a great extent, feeling happy depends not so much on having the good things, but on being grateful for and mindful of what I have, even if the sum total isn’t objectively impressive.
We probably all know people whose lives seem positively stuffed with the trappings of good fortune, but who are nevertheless dissatisfied. And we may know people who don’t have an abundance of anything except troubles, and yet they somehow manage to show us what it means to be contented. “It’s all in the attitude” is as true in this arena as in any other in life, so figuring out how to develop that “attitude of gratitude” will send us in a good direction.
I’ll point you to this Real Simple article for details on six ways that gratitude improves your life, including boosting health, resilience and energy. I love the way that being thankful leads to more things to be thankful for. That’s a virtuous cycle I aspire to.