30 Days of Gratitude: Happiness Insights

See the final results of my 30 Days of Gratitude challenge here: 30 Days of Gratitude: Final Reflections.

As my 30 Days of Gratitude experiment is coming to an end, I decided to do an analysis of everything I’ve written about over the past ~20 days. I was curious to see if reviewing everything I’ve written would provide some insights into the nature of happiness. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Money doesn’t buy happiness
    • ~75% of the things I listed were free. Common “free” things I listed were: perks at my job, good weather, and public amenities (libraries, trails, parks).
    • Out of the remaining 25% things I listed that cost money, only 1/3 cost more than $50. The vast majority of these items were related to health (SAD light, digestive enzymes, fitness trackers). Only 2 were “fun” expenditures (longboards and dogs).
    • Ironically, I NEVER listed things I spend the most money on – dining out and clothes. Perhaps I should spend less money on those things, if I’m not thankful for them! 😛
  • I take people for granted (and focus a lot on work)
    • 20% of the things I listed were related to work. This included: manager relationships, coworkers, and perks.
    • Only 6% of the things I listed were related to the (non-work related) people in my life – my friends and family. That’s sad. I honestly think it’s because I focus so much on my career… I rarely meet up with friends anymore. This is something I would like to change – perhaps another 30 day experiment?
  • Reframing negative events makes a big difference
    • 13% of the things I listed were actually “bad” things viewed in a different light (silver linings, baby).
    • A notable example was writing down 5 ways anxiety has improved my life.

Going forward, I want to spend my last week of this experiment focusing on the people in my life who have made a difference. Seeing how little I mention them is pathetic. Sometimes, I get so caught up in my work that I forget about the people I love.

What are you thankful for?



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