Welcome to the first day of our 21 Days to Happiness package. Today is all about GRATITUDE. Perhaps, for some, an obvious one to start on, but there is such an abundance of research out there to show how being grateful can truly transform the way you think, and the way you experience life that, for me, this Happinesshub Hint had to be day one!
It has been proven scientifically that one of the greatest contributors to happiness in your life is how much gratitude you show. Often we only realise how lucky we are when we lose something or it has gone: our health, a job, our home – how often do we take these for granted? I was attending a Christmas concert last year with Blind Veterans UK, a wonderful charity I work with. I had just got new spectacles that were giving me headaches, and I found myself grumbling as I entered the magical church in Marylebone. Immediately, I felt completely ashamed. Surrounded by the most inspiring people, many who had lost their sight, their limbs, their loved ones… and there I was moaning about my glasses. That night, ‘having my sight’ was added to my gratitude diary! As was that beautiful service in Marylebone.
Sometimes, when I am feeling down or had a tough day it’s very easy to recall the bad things that occurred. They seem big. They take over how I feel, and they can be what I focus on. Research shows that this has the opposite effect of focusing on one’s blessings. If you change your focus, and write down the things you are grateful for, it leads to improved wellbeing, higher levels of optimism and ultimately more life satisfaction.
I’ve noticed since I started this exercise, that if I take 5 or 10 minutes out of every day to write down what I am grateful for, I start to feel different, and in turn that makes me feel happier. I’ve also observed that now I have been doing this for a while, I am more grateful, more often, for smaller things throughout the day. In the past I would be too busy to be grateful for the fact my Mum sounded happy or I had done a job well. I needed to move onto the next thing and barely noticed the good, let alone felt gratitude. Yet since I have changed this one thing, there has been a real, genuine shift for me.
So please try this one today! If possible, attempt to repeat this throughout your 21 days every night. Imagine, if you continue it all year, how fun New Year’s Eve 2016 will be as you read through your diary or empty your jar, and recall all the good things that have happened to you. Your perspective will change, and so will you. Happy Monday!
Please click here for further research on Gratitude.