Month: March 2024

Let’s play!

Guess what? If you can be happy with simple things then it will be simple to be happy.

Back in 2003, researchers Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough asked groups of students to write down five gratitudes, five hassles or five events that happened over the past week for 10 straight weeks. What happened? The students who wrote five gratitudes were happier and physically healthier than the other two test groups. Here’s a little game I like to play at the end of each day to help me recount all I have to be grateful for, reflect on what I could learn from things which didn’t go well and what I have to look forward to tomorrow. Want to try it?!

What was the highlight of your day? (Rose)
What went wrong during your day? (Thorn)
What are you looking forward to tomorrow? (Bud)
Before you continue reading, I’m going to ask you to take 5 minutes and come up with your own answers to these questions.
Ok, ready, steady go!

(after 5 mins)

Did you do it?
Was it difficult?
How did it make you feel?
If you found it difficult, no worries. It gets easier and better with time.
Now that you have taken a few minutes to think about your answers, let me share with you the story behind this mindfulness exercise.
Why are you asking me do this?
The main purpose of this fun simple exercise is to help you become more aware of your surroundings and incorporate gratitude into your daily routine.
By reflecting on the highlights and low points of your day, you start to realize that:
-There are always things to be grateful for.
-Sometimes things won’t go according to plan and that’s ok.
-There are events you can and cannot control. The true wisdom lies in knowing the difference and taking action on those things you CAN control.
-There is always room for improvement.
-Mindfulness is like a muscle: the more you exercise it, the more developed it becomes.

That’s fine, but why should I care about gratitude and mindfulness?
Because it makes you more self-aware.
We live in the “information age” but a big chunk of the world’s population know very little about themselves.
They don’t know their strengths, weaknesses, or what they are passionate about.
It takes time to discover them but it all starts with introspection, mindfulness, and gratitude.
Gratitude and mindfulness can help you:
-Discover and focus on your strengths.
-Appreciate the blessings in your life as well as the “not-so-great” things.
-Strengthen your relationships.
-Become happier by celebrating the present and blocking toxic emotions.
-Pay it forward to other people.
-Sleep better.

As Charles Dickens said: “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many, not your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.

If you want to learn more about the science behind gratitude, I recommend reading Dr. Robert Emmons’ book “Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier”