Wake up, meditate for a few minutes, and then write down three things that you are grateful for to start the day.
It literally takes 3 minutes. It’s easy to do. Sometimes I do it in the time it takes to cook my oatmeal.
I started keeping a gratitude journal on January 1st and it has become a habit.
The purpose is to fine tune the brain muscle that looks for ALL the good things around you. Every single day you are surrounded by positive beautiful interactions, moments that will bring a smile to your face. These moments are easy to miss, but if you are capable of being perceptive to them your life will improve.
The gratitude journal acts as a simple reminder that I am surrounded by wonderful beautiful people, places, blessings, moments EVERY SINGLE DAY. If I tune into that STORY than I become a more positive happy person.
Don’t fall down the path of constantly tuning into the “life is hard” STORY. Life is not as stressful and “horrible” as your narrative can make it sometime seem.
You see what your brain is trained to see. There is a really interesting chapter in the book The Happiness Advantage that discusses the Tetris Effect. To summarize, a group of college students were asked to play Tetris for HOURS upon HOURS for a few weeks. Afterwards they reported seeing Tetris everywhere; spotting it in all sorts of inanimate objects. If they looked at a bookshelf they didn’t notice the individual books, but rather their shapes and how they fit where. They literally trained themselves to observe Tetris EVERYWHERE!
Your brain does this too. You can train it to see negativity- the flaws, the shortcomings, how it didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to be. But you can also start orient it towards that positive pathway- optimism, seeing the best people have to offer, the comedy of stressful situations, what a weird wonderful place the world is.
The gratitude journal is just a simple way to start training your brain towards the positive.
The constant narrative running through your head is, just that, a “narrative”. YOU can change it for yourself and by doing so you can begin to change it for the people around you.
So start a gratitude journal. Today I’m grateful for being able to share these ideas. Peace.
Also, read the Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor! I’m over halfway through and it has some great information. The basic pitch for the book “The happier you are, the more successful you will be.”
The Happiness Advantage lies in the small, momentary blips of positivity that pepper our lives each and every day.
– the Happiness Advantage(Shawn Achor)