Is it true that people are born either optimistic or pessimistic? In other words, are some people just naturally happier than others?
The debate on natural happiness has been going on for centuries, but according to Dr. Robert A. Emmons in the book Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, people can become happier by practicing gratitude. As Emmons states, “The evidence on gratitude contradicts the widely-held view that all people have a set-point of happiness that cannot be reset by any known means: in some cases, people have reported that learning gratitude led to transformative life change” (from page 3).
If you want to raise your happiness set-point, especially during this Thanksgiving season, take some time to reflect on the following quotes on gratitude taken from this great book.
How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier
I cannot tell you anything that, in a few minutes, will tell you how to be rich. But I can tell you how to feel rich, which is far better, let me tell you firsthand, than being rich. Be grateful….It’s the only totally reliable get-rich-quick scheme. —Ben Stein
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. —G.K. Chesterton
Each day that I stay as a guest on this green earth suddenly seems like outrageous good fortune. —World Trade Center survivor
Researchers found that people who scored high on optimism had a 50 percent lower risk of premature death than those who scored as being more pessimistic. —Mayo Clinic Research
In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need…Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances. —The Apostle Paul