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How Often Do You 'Count Your Blessings?'

Narrator: This is Science Today. Happiness studies have found that people who ‘count their blessings' are happier over time. But positive psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California, Riverside says that all depends.

Lyubomirsky: We found that people who count their blessings once a week - say every Sunday night - got happier over time. But people who counted their blessings three times a week, actually their happiness levels did not change. I think that what happened there is that when you do it too often, it can become kind of a chore - a monotonous sort of thing that you have to do and maybe you have trouble thinking of things to be grateful for, so it backfires.

Narrator: Lyubomirsky has recently written a book called The How of Happiness, which is based on her years of scientific research and includes twelve different happiness strategies.

Lyubomirsky: I developed a scale or a diagnostic test to help people determine which strategies would fit them best, that they would enjoy doing and would feel natural for them to do. It's very important to consider that because not everyone should try forgiveness, not everyone should try being more spiritual or exercise. So, you need to find what helps you.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.