What makes you happy?
This might sound simplistic, but if you want to be happy, be grateful.
Perhaps you think gratefulness is a bit lame. That gratefulness is reserved for airy-fairy people who sip lavender tea and can’t use an iPhone to save their lives.
But trust me on this one, gratefulness rocks.
Embracing gratefulness as a way of life doesn’t mean you have to shave your head and move to the Himalayas. It just means you start relating to the world in a different way. Instead of filling your head with all the negative things that make you miserable, you start noticing all the good things as well.
We get upset when we are sick, but we don’t say thank you! when we are healthy. We feel frustrated when things don’t go our way, but we don’t truly appreciate everything that works in our favour.
This is where gratefulness comes in.
A few years back I did this quirky experiment.
Every morning on the way into work I had to find 10 things to be grateful for.
Instead of noticing the bad traffic, the loud guy on the phone and the gloomy weather, I had to look for positive things and practice being grateful.
At first it felt a bit weird, like I was this fake Polly Anna wannabe. However, by the time I got to work I had deliberately filled my head with positive thoughts and couldn’t help but feeling happy.
Believe me, it made all the difference.
Another gratefulness exercise is to take 2 minutes every evening and write down the three best things that happened to you that day. This is an interesting one.
When I started writing my list, I quickly noticed how my behaviour changed.
I wanted the list to be inspiring and fun-loving; I definitely didn’t want my best moments to include:
1. doing the laundry
2. browsing the net aimlessly
3. cutting my toenails
I began to seek out situations and circumstance that I knew for sure would make me happy.
I ate lunch in the park, I surprised a colleague with a bar of chocolate, I watched the sunset, little things like that.
Everyday I found more and more opportunities for consciously choosing happiness, which in turn caused my gratefulness-list to become rich and uplifting. Win/win all around.
This exercise didn’t make the commute shorter or my neighbours less irritating, but instead of those negative things being all consuming, I noticed all the good things in my life as well.
Grateful living determines how you view the world, what opportunities you take, how you treat other people, it basically affects all areas of live. In a good way.
Are you ready to give it a try?
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