In an excellent article on the Practical EQ site, Andy Smith summarises several of the articles about positive psychology written in various issues of The Guardian.
I was pleased to find this in How to be happy.
The antidote is to develop a tolerance for small, imperfect improvements, and to focus on what’s going right. Every evening since September 19 1999, religiously, Ben-Shahar has made a list in a notebook of five things for which he feels grateful (“it could be that fantastic sandwich I had, or it could be my family”), and keeping a gratitude diary is now part of the homework for the Harvard course. It all sounds desperately slushy – a terminal lack of coolness is, regrettably, endemic to happiness studies – but this is a kneejerk response it may be useful to try to suppress, as apparently it works: in 2002, a large-scale University of Miami study found a strong correlation between gratitude and overall levels of happiness.
I described my approach to this in the article Have a nice day. Sadly I can’t claim he got the idea from me, but it’s nice to be on a similar wavelength to a Harvard academic (that doesn’t happen very often!).