Psychological research suggests that positive emotions are associated with creativity, problem-solving abilities and overall success.

So how do you improve your mood in a sustainable way that can impact what you do? Psychologist Jeremy Dean, author of PsyBlog, posted an article describing three studies that examined how expressing gratitude or being thankful can improve your mood.

The studies he mentioned had participants writing down a few things they were grateful for on a regular basis which resulted in happier participants.  For example, one, 10 week study had participants write down every week 5 items or situations that they are thankful for.  At the end of the study, the subjects who followed this exercise in gratitude were happier and less depressed than the control group.

Dr Dean suggests that you can start by taking about 2 minutes and listing a few things that you are grateful for.  To help you start the ‘exercise’, he provides the following examples:

“I don’t have a headache today”

“I had a good lunch”

“I have my family”

“My new socks keep my feet warm”

Give it a try over the next few weeks.  By practicing this “exercise in gratitude”, it becomes habitual and may help your creativity and mood!