Recently, I have become more and more fascinated by positive psychology. What really draws me more and more into this topic is learning how much positive thoughts and emotions are a true marker to our health, happiness and longevity.
I wouldn’t want to go on about research that you can look up yourself, but know that there has been a strong connection found between gratitude and happiness. I would like to offer a few ways to practice it simply, which requires minimal time (a plus for all of us), or special equipment. Try these out in the coming week and see which works best for you:
Gratitude Toward Yourself
One of the easiest ways to practice gratitude is to name three things for which you are grateful each day. It is as simple as that. I’ve practiced this for months now, and I’ve felt my spirit lifted, increased energy and better relaxation. As examples, today I am grateful that:
- I allowed time to walk my baby to and from his first day of kindergarten.
- I packed a few bags of clothes from my kids for donations and I will be happy to see those bags go to those who need it.
- I had the time to pause and recharge with a special person close to my heart for lunch and a movie.
Go ahead and try this exercise. It doesn’t matter when during the day – and you should experiment with different times to see where and when this might help you the most. Popular times for me are just before bedtime, right when I wake up, or anytime I need a break from my day, to regroup, reconnect and get positive.
Advanced tip: I’ve found that keeping a small journal where I write these thoughts down to be a powerful exercise, not only to reinforce my thoughts for the day, but also to review over time and appreciate all the goodness in my life.
Gratitude Towards Others
We all know the phrase, “Be the person you want your kids to be.” This pairs very well with showing gratitude and different sorts of support towards others in need. To practice, think of three people around you for whom you could offer help. It could be the cleaners in your building or other staff, it could be your helper, your driver, or anyone. Just offer support, in any way, and the helpful energy you put out will be reflected in you as well. Start by greeting good morning and saying thank you whenever you can, especially with your kids around. Did you ever think of actually noticing something about that cashier at the supermarket, or the neighbor? You can really create inspiring impact in the world around you by showing this type of behavior.
Pay Gratitude Forward
Create a gratitude jar with your kids and every day or so, put little notes of acts of kindness you all took, and place the note in the jar. At the end, after a couple of weeks or months, when you get a full jar you can have a mini celebration, perhaps a “gratitude party.” This could be a fun weekend getaway, or simply some special treat at home. Try it! Be creative and teach your kids to think boldly and wildly to keep inspiring and be inspired by all the love and goodness we can find, and be responsible to create, in this crazy world.
Keep It Simple And Enjoy The Process
As a final thought, make sure you use this practice as a way to enjoy the adventure that is your life. This isn’t another “to do” to cause stress; this is a practice to incorporate to increase your energy and well being. Make it as playful, fun and exciting as you can, with love and support around you, and first and foremost, within you. Love yourself, respect yourself, others will follow.
Learn more about Adi Nevo at Transformational Life Coaching on adinevo.me.