With Thanksgiving upon us, I wanted to share a very simple concept that might improve your happiness quotient. I know it does mine. This is the idea of showing gratitude for what you have.

But like so many great ideas, it only works when I remember to do it.

How do I do this?

It starts with the simple act of pausing and looking for opportunities to apply gratitude. Gratitude is one of five clinically researched and proven ingredients to a happy life. It might even be the most important one because a grateful person has an easier time engaging in the other four behaviors.

So it begins with consciously paying attention (both internally and externally) to start getting in touch with gratitude. Once you start looking around, you’ll b be surprised with all you can see around you to be grateful for.

U.C. Davis Psychology professor Robert Emmons did a study showing that people who jotted down a list of 5 simple things to be grateful for, once a week, were much happier than those who did not.

They also found it was easier for folks to find examples of things to be grateful for once they began writing them down.

To me what is interesting about this study is the only thing that changed to bring about more happiness was the person’s perception. They didn’t have to get a new job, family or other “stuff” to be happier. They just needed a slight recalibration on how they view the world.

Change your perception, change your world.

So with Thanksgiving around the corner perhaps now is a good time to try this practice and pause, look around, and see all that is around you that you can be grateful for.  You’ll be surprised how much there is.

Then, jot them down. In a couple of weeks, you’ll surprise yourself with a list of hundreds of things to be grateful for, that you never paid attention to before.

In case you don’t know it, the world loves happy people.

Happy Thanksgiving!