The Upside of Down Times: Discovering the Power of Gratitude by Lisa Ryan (Outskirts Press, 2012) is a small book with a big message: Gratitude can make you happier, healthier, and even wealthier. Learn the benefits of being grateful, and how to do it.
You’ve heard it before, your mother probably admonished you to be grateful for what you have. More than just a nice thing—being grateful—Ryan pulls together recent scientific research findings showing the benefits of gratitude are powerful indeed.
The Upside of Down Times is not a dry recounting of research, it’s an entertaining, informative read. Filled with anecdotes and Ryan’s personal experiences, this small book is a powerful reminder that your life can be greatly improved by something free, easy, and available to everyone—gratitude.
You might call Lisa Ryan the gratitude queen. Her personal life isn’t the only aspect of her life devoted to gratitude. Her business name, Grategy, is a word coined from the combination of gratitude and strategy, and helps companies harness the power of gratitude to improve business results.
I’ve practiced daily gratitude activities for some time now, using the Three Good Things intervention I first read about in Dr Martin Seligman’s Authentic Happiness book. Each night when I go to bed I recall three good things that happened during the day and linger in the gratitude I feel for them.
Good things need not be anything extraordinary, a nice nap, a pleasant walk, or an interesting book are all candidates. In fact, the small positives of life—those things we often take for granted—are great reminders that life is good, by and large, in spite of the challenges that often come our way.
I’ve found regularly focusing on three good things at the end of the day keeps me in a positive frame of mind and tends to help me focus on the good things I look forward to the next day.
Gratitude, Positive Attitude, and Relationships
The research findings of positive psychology are clear. Being positive is better for your health, your happiness, and your personal success. Gratitude is one of the very easy and powerful tools for maintaining a positive attitude.
Being grateful provides even more benefit when you factor in the impact it has on your relationships—strengthening them and keeping you connected to others—another big factor in human happiness and success.
I recommend The Upside of Down Times, a small book with a big message, a message we tend to forget in the course of busy lives. Thanking people, acknowledging them with smiles and a friendly word or two, recognizing the contributions they make to your life, and being thankful for all you have, even if it’s not all you want to have, are all free and easy ways to enjoy your life.
More Resources for Personal Growth
What is Life all About? How do I Find my Purpose? is the latest in the Personal Growth Resources series of personal growth books. Other books in the series include The Happiness Workbook, Sample Personal Development Plan and Workbook, and 5 Keys to Balancing Work and Life.
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Jerry Lopper – Personal Growth Resources
Build your life on a foundation of purpose