When it comes right down to it, we all just want to be happy! Sounds so easy and yet, so many of us struggle with being happy! We spend most of our time stressed out, worried, anxious, overwhelmed about all sorts of things: don’t like our work; kids don’t listen; marriage isn’t what we had hoped; not enough money; never be able to get it all done. Whatever it is, the list goes on and on and these negative thoughts take over and bring us down.
Unfortunately, the brain is much more prone to hang onto negative thoughts so it is our job to make our brains remember the good things. Like everything in life if we want to get good at something we need to practice - Yep, we even have to practice getting happy :) We are all in very different stages in life, but no matter where we are and what our experiences, a great and easy way to get happier is through gratitude. It is hard to be truly grateful and negative at the same time. So let’s take some time to be grateful! But how you ask, well it is actually pretty simple.
Take a moment for yourself, just 5 to 10 minutes. Sit down, relax and take a few deep breaths and think about the things you are thankful for. Really reflect on a few things, one at a time. They don’t have to be big events in your life, many times it is the little things that touch us. Kind words from a friend, a hug from your loved one, a cute note from your son or daughter. Feeling good about something you’ve accomplished. Don’t try to overwhelm yourself with many moments, but instead focus on a few things (3 - 5) you are grateful for but go deeper on each one. Really remember every moment of that experience. Close your eyes and take yourself back to that moment and remember how you felt, what were you wearing, the joy you experienced during that moment. Really feel thankful for that moment or experience. Go through each experience one at a time. Spend about 2 minutes on each one. After 5 to 10 minutes of this, you should feel happier and uplifted. But don’t stop there, you need to incorporate this into each day. The more you do it, the more you will be training your brain to be happy.
The cool thing is that there is actually some science behind it. Remembering these experiences and feeling grateful will actually increase the dopamine levels in our brain, making us feel happier. This isn’t a one and done, because the more we practice feeling grateful, the more our brains will crave that feeling of gratitude and the more we will seek out things to be thankful for.
So to help you on your journey of gratitude and happiness, here’s another little tip. When you find yourself in a moment that is making you happy, stop and soak it in. Be grateful in that moment and consciously put it in your memory bank so you can recall it later. For example, when my kids do something extra sweet or we have a special moment, I try to really relish the moment and take in all the senses. That way, when I have one of those challenging parent moments that makes me want to scream (Moms out there, can you relate?), I try to take a step back and recall those sweet moments and it can calm me down and put things in perspective to deal with the craziness.
So remember, no matter what life is throwing your way and how busy you are, just stop and take a moment daily to be thankful. The more you do it, the easier it gets and you will find yourself thinking happier thoughts throughout the day and getting rid of the negativity. Those moments of gratitude will creep up and fill your heart with love and happiness. Go and be happy!
Comments will be approved before showing up.