The Secret to Happiness? Stop Complaining & Start 'Practicing Gratitude' (VIDEO)

Health Check 5

karen walrond showBe honest: At the end of a long day, are you more likely to complain about every little thing that went wrong, or be grateful for every little thing that went right? I won't lie; I'm definitely guilty of the former. Complaining makes us feel good, or at least we think it does ... in fact, it makes our mood even worse.

Just ask CafeMom Studios host Karen Walrond. This episode of her show, featuring artist Tara Dixon is called "Practicing Gratitude" -- and with good reason! Both Walrond and Dixon know firsthand how counting those blessings on a daily basis can lead to, well, feeling a lot more blessed. (Makes perfect sense!)

So what IS gratitude, exactly? According to Dixon, "Gratitude is noticing all the gifts in one's life, and taking stock of those gifts."

Even when times are tough. Hey, Dixon managed to find things to be grateful about when her 18-year-marriage ended!

While working on a series of paintings after her divorce, Dixon realized they all had a common theme: Being thankful for the best parts of her marriage.

"My husband had always believed in me as a painter, and paid rent for my studio ... and we had this amazing child together," she says.

Color me impressed. And inspired -- this practice really does have the potential to be life-changing. So how do we get our gratitude on?

Here are a few tips from Walrond and Dixon:

1. Take pictures of the things that make you grateful. (Dixon's choice one day? Mangoes!)

2. Journal about the things that make you grateful at the end of every day -- even if it's "one good thing."

3. Use feelings of gratitude to diffuse stressful situations. My train is late again! But ... at least I got a seat this time, yay!

4. Get kids started on gratitude early. Over dinner or before bed, ask, "What good things happened to you today?" Framing it this way -- what good things -- teaches them positive thinking.

So ...

What good things happened to YOU today?

Image via CafeMomStudios/YouTube

cafemom studios, emotional health, mental health


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Histo... HistoryMamaX3

I read the title of this post and thought, AMEN.

Really, it is that easy. If you want to be happy- BE HAPPY. Crappy things happen to everyone, all the time. In its own way, life sucks! It's hard work and you have to do a lot in order to get what you want or do what you want. However, you needn't suck along with it- or suck all the fun to be had right out of it!

Smile, think nice things, say nice things, and do nice things. The world really does open up- if you remain grumpy and angry... well, the cloud hanging over your head is your problem.

fleur... fleurdelys3110

It's also been proven that if you fake smile and pretend to be happy, then eventually you will be happy! (obviously this doesn't apply to when people are mentally depressed, but it works in every day life!

PonyC... PonyChaser

This is extremely hard to do when you feel like the world is pressing in on you. But that is when you need to do it most. During the most stressful times in my life, I make it a point to find a few minutes every day to say out loud, "thank you for..."  I start with people. To me, that's the most important thing, to be thankful for those people who are supportive of you. If there's time after that, I go through the "things" that I'm thankful for. but sometimes there isn't the time... I can only find a snip of 5 minutes. But in that time, at least I'm made aware of the people. And yes, it helps.

Angie Hayes

Such wonderful advice! I think she has it all right!

jessi... jessicasmom1

Yes things happen to people when things are bad they seem they can't get worse but they do. great advice

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