Christmas Ornament

Gratitude: The Key to Increasing Happiness this December

This month, many of us will feel a sense of urgency to tie up loose ends and reach the goals we’d set earlier this year. Practicing gratitude slowly improves our well-being and life-satisfaction because it requires us to notice and pay attention to the positive.

December is finally here! That means sunny summer for us down in Australia, but in the Northern Hemisphere, the temperature has already dropped and soon there will be driveways to shovel and ugly holiday sweaters to unpack.

Last week, those of you in the US celebrated Thanksgiving, a time of year where we gather our loved ones and express our thanks for the things in our lives. As the weather changes and the year comes to an end, we on the Karst Team wanted to spend this month continuing this spirit of gratitude, to end the year on a positive note and to help us make the most of this holiday period.

It’s easy to get bogged down by the business of buying presents and the general hectic nature of the end of the year. Deliberately sitting down and forcing yourself to acknowledge specific things you are grateful for throughout the day has proven positive effects on your general well-being.

Even in hard times, making yourself identify and acknowledge the good things in life—specifically the non generic ones—forces you to take on, even briefly, a new perspective. We want to encourage this as much as possible throughout December, and into the new year going forward.

Karst Stone Paper

Reconsidering and revisiting our Key Questions:

  • What relationships am I grateful for?
  • What has been my greatest source of inspiration?
  • Looking back at past weeks’ entries, what makes me smile or feel good?
  • What am I proud of accomplishing this year?

If you're interested in scientific research on gratitude, check out this article on Positive Psychotherapy.

Another great resource is Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier by Robert Emmons.