(Updated December 22, 2016)

The Social Media Lama’s Guide to Happiness

The Social Media Lama Says…

I can measure your level of happiness with one glance at your Facebook wall.

What would The Social Media Lama look at?

Hint: It’s not your epic selfies or your exotic vacation pictures or your dog’s cuteness or your well-groomed dinner plate that tells me how happy you are.

Look no further than how thankful you appear.

Yes, gratitude is the key factor.

This post (and its companion post linked below) offer a never-before-seen way to find happiness by altering your gratitude posting habits.

How To Make Social Media Work For Your Happiness

In life, there are so many opportunities to feel grateful, even for people who see themselves as unlucky or who feel a pinch of hypersensitivity about other people’s success as depicted on Facebook.

It all starts with a commitment to finding things that you feel thankful for.

But make no mistake about it…Being grateful is not only about knowing the reasons to feel grateful. It has everything to do with flooding your mind and body with an authentic sense of thankfulness.

Try looking in the minutia of life if this doesn’t come naturally for you. You can even search your Facebook friends for people who inspire you or who made your hour with a witty post.

You can be thankful for something that’s been done for you. Or for any act of kindness that you’ve benefited from in some way. Or for where you live or for your family or your job or your dog or your street or your blender. It doesn’t matter as long as you truly think, feel and embrace how you’ve benefited from this person, place or thing.

A BULGING GRATITUDE MUSCLE = EASIER ACCESS TO HAPPINESS

By achieving greater access to multiple avenues for expressing thankfulness, you are expanding your mind and moving beyond the psychological barriers that fuel unhappiness, resentment and emotional distance from people.

Gratitude actually makes you feel much more connected to people. It takes you out of the past and puts you right in the moment. It makes life feel meaningful and worth living.

A bulging gratitude muscle enables you to transform painful life experiences into opportunities for learning and healthy perspective.

The more you strengthen your thankfulness muscle, the happier you’ll feel about yourself, your relationships and the world as a whole. Period.

I must point out that you don’t necessarily have to publicly share gratitude for you to reap the mental health benefits of such a state of mind. Since this blog post examines social media habits in particular, we are choosing to focus specifically on what is expressed publicly.

The expression of gratitude is like a muscle that requires constant exercise to maintain the benefits to your mental and physical health.

What a powerful way to shift your mentality! It’s simple…just strive for more thankfulness posts.

Using Facebook as a Tool for Enlightenment

If you’re an active poster on Facebook, then ask yourself, “What percentage of my posts reflect a sense of thankfulness toward others?”

Why look to Facebook for enlightenment? Since Facebook is used by almost everyone to publicly share their thoughts and images, what better place is there (besides face-to-face interaction) to practice feeling and sharing how thankful you are?

Honestly, it doesn’t even have to be Facebook.  More and more people prefer other social media sites these days and that’s fine too. As long as you have your outlet for sharing thankfulness, you’re headed in the right direction.

The Actual Goal Is Not Virtual

The ultimate goal is to develop your gratitude muscle in real life. Facebook, however, is a great place to start. Think of the difference between sharing your feelings in a letter versus face to face.  Similar to a letter, a Facebook post offers an added layer of emotional safety that makes it easier to say how you really feel.

That is, unless you’re too embarrassed or too humble to publicly declare your gratitude on Facebook.

Given how routinized the checking of our social media feeds has become, it offers a predictable place to practice gratitude.

Every check of your Facebook feed is an opportunity to practice gratitude. Click To Tweet

Start by Understanding Your Posting Habits

Do you convey gratitude posts regularly or are they a blip on your social media radar?

Think about what comes naturally to you. That is, what kind of gratitude is it easiest for you to share with others on social media? Is it easy to convey how thankful you are for your partner, your pet, or your favorite sitcom?

What about the most embarrassing or off-limits ways that gratitude can be conveyed?

Confused? That’s okay. I’ve come up with a simple and clear guide to understanding your brand of thankfulness. This guide will also illuminate the kinds of gratitude posts you need to strive for.

It is when you reach outside of your gratitude posting comfort zone that your mind truly expands and your happiness rages.

To continue this mind-expanding exercise, click here to learn your brand of thankfulness and try on other brands.

For more tips and tools for thriving like the Social Media Lama, click here.