metaphysicalAll of us have dealt with loss. Some have lost relationships, some have lost homes, some have lost loved ones. How do we deal with those losses and keep a positive outlook?

Obviously, we grieve loss. But after we’ve worked through our grief, research suggests that the best thing we can do is focus on what was not lost. In other words, it’s good to count our blessings.

In one nine-week study, research subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group daily wrote down all the “bad” things in their lives, from messy houses to lack of funds, to bad relationships. The other group daily wrote the things they felt made their lives better than others. The result? The people who focused on the positive things in their lives reported fewer physical complaints, better relationships, and more optimism about the future. The researchers qualified this by determining that those who focused on their blessings were 25% happier than those people who were asked to continually focus on their problems.

Even when we lose the most important things or relationships in our lives, we don’t lose the memories. We don’t lose the blessing that came from them. When we focus on what we have, we find we actually have a lot to be thankful for. And, that gratitude ultimately makes us happier.