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It's all about being happy

David Columbia was having a bad day. New to New York, he was worn down by the hustle and bustle, no longer excited and proud about moving to the big city as he had been weeks earlier. He'd imagined himself a hot young talent taking the magazine world by storm, only to end up doing menial work as a low-level assistant on a barely-making-it salary. He couldn't afford his own place and felt bad sponging of a friend.

It was Saturday, and he so much wanted to sleep in, but he had to pick up a photo for work. It was cold, grey and damp when David headed across town.

"I don't know what possessed me," he writes, "but I decided to start counting things along the way that made me happy. I just wanted to see how many pleasing things I came across."

First on his list – a mother pushing a baby in a pram. "That little face just made me smile!" Then he saw a jet in the sky, and marvelled at the wonders of flight. And so it went on – the sizzling smells of restaurants to eye-catching shop-window displays – David acknowledged one thing after another that brightened his mood. By the time he picked up the photo he was glad he lived in Manhatten.

"I was reminded that I lived in an exciting, interesting and invigorating place," he says. "Whenever I'm feeling down, I do this. It makes me feel better."

It's been more than 20 years since David took his "Walk of Thanks" across the city. Now he's a successful entrepreneur in the media business and says his 'gratitude-stroll' helps him stay focused to this day.

Science is now proving what David discovered in his city-walk: Feeling grateful can actually make us healthier – literally!

Why don't you start a gratitude journal today?

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