Source: “Authentic Happiness,” Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D., Chapter 5
(Michael McCullough and Robert Emmons)
1 = Strongly disagree – 7 = Strongly agree
- I have so much in life to be thankful for.
- If I had to list everything that I felt grateful for, it would be a very long list.
- When I look at the world, I don’t see much to be grateful for.
- I am grateful to a wide variety of people.
- As I get older, I find myself more able to appreciate the people, events, and situations that have been part of my life history.
- Long amounts of time can go by before I feel grateful to something or someone.
(Reverse scores on 3, 6)
6-35 Lower Quarter, 36-38 bottom half, 39-41 top four, 42 top eighth
Suggestion to keep a record for 14 days, noting the things for which you are grateful. Racket the exercise with the Life Satisfaction and General Happiness scales to compare scores. But
Feelings about the past depend on memory interpretation and assigned meaning. Gratitude amplifies good feelings about the past. The opposite is also true.
As a South African leader, Nelson Mandela redirected past bitterness toward reonciliation.
Some believe that righteous anger honors the victim and promotes justice.
How to forgive – REACH
- Recall the hurt objectively
- Empathize with others
- Altruistically give the gift of forgiveness
- Commit to forgive publicly
- Hold onto forgiveness that
Weighing up your life
Find a time annually to evaluate your life satisfaction and compare it with previous years.
3 ways to feel happier about the past
- Intellectual-determined that the past does not dictate your future
- Become more grateful for the good things in your past
- Learn how to forgive past wrongs