On New Year's Eve, journalist and former Parade Editor-in-Chief Janice Kaplan made a promise to herself to be grateful during the coming year and look on the bright side of whatever happens.
As we find out in this episode, it made a big difference to her life. Janice discovered that how she feels has less to do with events than with her own attitude and perspective on life.
Her recent book "The Gratitude Diaries" began after a survey she had done found that 94% of Americans thought people who are grateful live richer lives. But less than half those surveyed say they practiced gratitude on any regular basis.
"It struck me that we have this great big gratitude gap," Janice tells us on "How Do We Fix It?" If we change our attitude, she says, "we're going to be a lot happier."
- Say thanks to someone you love. It's easy to forget to appreciate your partner and your family. But the daily practice of saying something positive can transform almost any relationship.
- Gratitude is an attitude, but it's also a daily practice. Each day write down something that you are grateful for.
- Express gratitude at work. Many of us feel unappreciated at work, but we can change that for ourselves and our colleagues. The start of the work week is a great time to tell fellow workers that they matter to you.
- At family dinners or when you are putting your kids to sleep at night, ask your kids what they were grateful for today. This can become part of what families do and how they think about their lives.