The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year of Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life

Feeling little excitement at a New Year's Eve party, journalist Janice Kaplan (A Job to Kill For) wondered if there was something that could bolster her level of happiness. Nothing was wrong with her life, but everything felt merely okay. Her recent work with a national survey on gratitude taught her that "it wasn't the circumstances that mattered but how [she] responded to them. [She] could passively wait for the wonderful to occur--and still find something wrong. Or [she] could accept whatever events did come [her] way and try to appreciate them a little more." This realization sparks her resolution to spend the following year focusing on gratefulness. The Gratitude Diaries is the uplifting journal of her efforts, as well as a plethora of fascinating research on the mental, physical and psychological benefits of gratitude.

Kaplan chooses a focus for each month in order to isolate and evaluate how re-framing her perspective toward that person or thing alters her feelings. She begins with her husband and their marriage then works her way through the year with aspects of her life such as money, career, material possessions and health. Each experience Kaplan has is supplemented with insights from professionals studying gratitude or people living it in extraordinary ways.

Kaplan made a pointed effort to see the positive. By sharing her efforts, she offers people reading The Gratitude Diaries opportunity to notice their own reasons to be happy, and who couldn't stand a little more happiness in their lives? --Jen Forbus of Jen's Book Thoughts

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