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One of the most relevant predictors of how happy people are, how easily they make friends, and how good they are at dealing with hardship is gratitude.
Gratitude can mean different things to different people, depending on the context: it's a character trait, a virtue, a feeling, and a behavior.
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We all are familiar with the feeling that things are not as they should be in terms of success, relationships, material possessions. This feeling can make you look outwards with envy and inwards with disappointment.
The easiest gratitude exercise with the most solid research behind it is gratitude journaling. It involves sitting down for a few minutes, 1-3 times a week, and writing down 5 to 10things you are grateful for.
In the last two decades, researchers have started to work on ways to counteract our chronic dissatisfaction. This is how positive psychology was born - the study of what makes life worth living, while cognitive behavioral therapy was developed to change negative feelings.
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