Last week we were talking about creating habits. Today I want to help you create an easy one that will boost your happiness and be less stressed. Sound good?
Some time ago, I wrote the ‘What I love list‘ which contains little things that make me happy and remind me in busy times to add these into my daily life when I get overwhelmed.
At the moment, we live in a different kind of overwhelm and I would like to introduce you to a daily practice that I have that helps me focus on the now and on what’s positive instead of worrying about tomorrow and what I can’t control.
There are three steps in this practice.
- Know when to be GRATEFUL
Research shows that when we count three blessings a day, we get a measurable boost in happiness that uplifts and energizes us. It’s also physiologically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same time.
If you are focusing on being thankful, you can’t be negative.
So every evening, write down 5 things you are happy about and thankful for.
Because three is easy.
And 10 is too much.
Some days even 5 will be challenge.
- Notice when you RECEIVE
It’s all about noticing opportunities, gifts, unexpected happenings, serendipitous meetings, someone saying thank you, holding the door open for you…
Write them down.
Be thankful for them.
- Recognize what you’ve LEARNED
Big or small accomplishments you have made, lessons you have learned, gains you have created, fears you have conquered,…
To help you with this practice, I have a little free worksheet you can download and keep at your bedside table.
When you start doing this every day, I recommend you get a journal (I use these).
Include your kids
When I started doing this years ago, I loved it so much that I wondered how I could include my kids (who were still little at the time and weren’t able to write into a journal yet).
So every evening at bedtime, I started asking them what the best thing of the day was. They would always name a few things and sometimes even things I hadn’t even noticed.
And when they said ‘There was nothing great about today.’ (because we all have those days, right?), I would press on. Because there is always something good about your day. Even if it’s just that the sun was shining or that you got a call/hug from someone.
Some evenings I forget.
Because, well… life.
But my kids (who are now 12 and almost 14) don’t forget. They remind me about ‘the best part of the day’.
So start now but adding your 5 things you’re grateful for in the comments below or by email and let me know how this little practice changes your life.