GREAT Morning Everybody!
As some of you might know, I resigned from my previous job and took 6 weeks off, traveling all across North America and Mexico. At the tail-end of my previous job, I was worn out, tired, stressed and in a pretty dark place. Over the course of the last 6 weeks, I have learned A LOT: about myself, about others, about this world we live in. And so, over the course of the next few weeks, I plan to share the various lessons I have learned during my travels, in hope that at least one of them resonates with at least one of you! Enjoy!
Part 1: The Prescription for Happiness – Finding Fulfillment in Every Moment
Allow me to provide a bit of context:
The human brain thinks roughly 60,000 thoughts per day. Approximately 90% of those thoughts are negative. That may seem like a large percentage, but this is actually deemed “normal.” This is how we successfully evolved as a species, providing us with the tools required to survive the harshest of conditions. This survival mechanism is ingrained in our DNA, as our brains actively and relentlessly search for that next threat, that next issue, that next problem. Now, what if I told you there was a way to change these negative thought patterns? We actually have the power (within) to re-wire our mental and train our brains to actively search for the positive in each and every situation. Here’s how:
#1: Jot down 3 things/events/people you are grateful for on a daily basis
Sound too good to be true? It isn’t! I have discovered that practicing this for just 6 short weeks has drastically shifted my thought patterns to consciously (and unconsciously) search for the positive in every situation. Every day, preferably upon waking up, grab a pen and piece of paper (or journal) and jot down the date, your current location, and 3 things/events/people you are grateful for. It’s really THIS easy! I recommend performing this activity as soon as you wake up! What this means is do not reach for your phone, do not scroll through the Gram, stay away from Facebook, avoid your e-mail, and instead, grab for your journal/piece of paper and get to work! Practicing gratitude helps to train the brain to be more sensitive to the experience of gratitude down the line, and this contributes to improved mental health over time.
#2: Send out daily gratitude notes
It is imperative that we also develop an outward gratitude practice for the people in our lives. Pick a person each day and write a gratitude note/letter to them. This can come in the form of a text, a hand-written letter, or even a phone call! It doesn’t need to be long. Something short, sweet, and heart felt is all that is required! The cool thing about this practice is you will feel all blissed out and the recipient will have no freakin’ idea what or why this kind message was “randomly” delivered! Plus, the sweetness they receive, essentially out of the blue, is magical!
There are 2 LARGE benefits to this practice. The first benefit is that you will likely make the recipient’s day by sending this out. Some of the responses I have gotten over the course of 6 weeks have brought tears to my eyes! What’s more, the recipient might also pay it forward, thus extending your positivity punch outward to more individuals throughout the world! Keep in mind, these gratitude notes are for YOU! The recipient’s response or lack thereof (I have also gotten many non-responses) should have little to no effect on the bliss or gratitude you feel by sending this out. The second benefit is that this activity, while selfless, is also very selfish, as you will feel AMAZING after blasting these out, and that is okay! Cultivating these feelings of gratitude on a daily basis has the power to re-wire the brain to search for the positive in every situation, in every event, within every day!
Before adding these 2 weapons to my positivity arsenal, I was in a pretty dark place, like a really dark place. And today, just 6 weeks removed from that place, I can honestly say I am the happiest (and most grateful) I have been in my entire life!
A Few Suggestions:
– Keep in mind, change wont happen overnight. The key here is consistency. Be as descriptive as possible in both your gratitude journal and your gratitude notes! The more vivid the entry/note, the more benefits you will reap.
– Perform this as often as possible! When I don’t engage in these activities or skip a day, I can 100% feel the difference when compared to the days that I do.
– Set reminders in your phone to perform these activities. I currently have 2 reminders: the one for my gratitude journal goes off at 5am; the one for my gratitude note goes off at 10am.
Happiness is the consequence of what we do and how we behave. It is an activity of daily living. While the activities mentioned above are simple, you will reap maximum benefits by practicing them on a daily basis!
HAPPY FRIDAY AND ENJOY WHAT COMES OF TODAY!