Whenever I do a talk at a workplace, or speak to someone in a 1:1 consultation, I always get asked 'how can I feel more positive, more present and happier in life?'
The fact is, over 70% of people report feeling overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted on a regular basis, and this takes away from their ability to feel content and at peace in their life. They find themselves letting out their anger on loved ones, suffering from constant worries and feeling drained during the day.
Can you relate?
There is 1 incredibly simple exercise you can do every day that takes under 30 seconds and it will leave you feeling happier, more present and more fulfilled in your life.
Sound too good to be true?
Well, it's not!
In fact, research has shown this practice to be incredibly powerful in lifting happiness levels.
So what is this simple activity?
A Gratitude Practice! Simply saying 3 things you're grateful for every day has proven to boost creativity and reduce anxiety levels!
Here's how to do it.
Choose a time of day when you will do your gratitude practice - it must be the same time every day to help you create the habit - and write down or simply say out loud 3 things you're grateful for.
It could be anytime of day. I like to do it first thing in the morning because it puts me in a positive mood for the day. Some prefer night time so they can go to bed feeling content. There is really no right or wrong!
Feel free to include this as part of a morning ritual / meditation practice you already have going! Nothing wrong with being efficient while working on your health!
Here are some examples of things you might be grateful for:
- a partner / friend in your life
- someone made you laugh
- someone gave up their seat for you on the way to work
- the sun is shining
- a delicious lunch
- 'me-time' that left you feeling refreshed
- a good night's sleep
- a job you love
- spending time at the beach / in nature
- a pet you love
- a project finished successfully at work
- you ate well today
- you exercised
- you're ALIVE!
- and so much more....
Why is gratitude so powerful?
One of the reasons this is so effective for reducing stress and boosting happiness levels is because the brain is linear; it thinks sequentially - i.e., one thought at a time. If you direct your thoughts to focus on positive things, you cannot be stressed in that moment!
And when you do this regularly, you are literally training your mind to find and focus on positive things. This helps you feel more positive on a daily basis, while also expanding your problem solving skills (as you're open to more solutions rather than focusing on the problem itself).
There is an inspiring TED talk I recommend watching for some extra inspiration. Check it out here:
Your Next Steps
To implement this right away and experience the benefits instantly:
- Choose the time of day you will say your gratitude practice - morning, just before bed, on the train / bus to walk, lunch time, etc.... remember, there is no right or wrong.
- Add an appointment in your calendar and set the reminder so it goes off every day at your chosen time. This will ensure you remember it and don't use "Oops, I forgot" as an excuse!
- Have a notepad on hand if you want to keep a gratitude journal, or you can simply say what you're grateful for without writing it down.
- Then do yourself a favour and take time to reflect on how good it feels to be in a state of gratitude.
Let me know by commenting below or sending me an email how the practice serves you and what sorts of things you find yourself being grateful for every day. If you repeat something most days, thats totally OK. In fact, its awesome! It means this thing is really important to you and the fact it keeps coming up brings to light what you value and want more of in your life :-)
To your happiness,