What’s on Your Happiness List?

by Margaret Manning

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to forget all of the positive things in your life and focus on the negative? Why is it that our worries spin in our heads, while thinking about what we are grateful for requires conscious effort?

Part of the problem is that people adapt to their environments. A few generations ago, people lived without hot water, television and the Internet. Now, we complain if our cell phone’s coverage drops, while we are sitting in a camping ground on the side of a mountain.

So, what’s the alternative? If thinking negative thoughts comes so naturally, how can we break out of our minds and find positivity after 50?

The answer is simple. Finding happiness requires concentration and planning. Let me give you an example.

What’s on Your Happiness List?

One of the easiest ways to remind yourself to be more positive is to write a happiness list. Take out a piece of paper and write a list of all of the things that you are grateful for. Are you grateful for your family? Write down the names of the people that you are closest to. Are you in reasonably good health? Jot that down too. Are their specific activities that you enjoy or passions that you are currently exploring? Which ones?

The goal here is not to create the longest list possible. In fact, some studies have shown that trying to think of a long list of positive items may make you unhappy, but, that’s another story! The goal is to write down the aspects of your life that make you the happiest. What are you truly grateful for?

Now take your list and put it somewhere that you will see it every day – on the refrigerator or on the wall in front of your computer.

Make a point to read your happiness list at least once a day and update it when you think of something that you are especially grateful for. Over time, these constant reminders will help to steer your mind towards positivity.


I’d love to hear what you think about this. What is the one thing that you are most grateful for in your life? What person, place or activity makes you the happiest? Please join the discussion.

Let\’s Have a Conversation!

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