There is so much written and talked about on the subject of happiness. For some it is as illusive as the Holy Grail. What is it that makes some full of sunshine and happiness? There are numerous studies into happiness. How do we define happiness? Does having the latest Apple product or the latest Mulberry handbag truly bring us happiness? Is reading the Dalai Lama’s book The art of happiness to way to finding lasting joy? Or following Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project the way to do it?……the list goes on and on into the distance.
Along with love, happiness is something we all long for – to feel more of, knowing that life with them is just so much so much more bright and shiny!
Research shows us that when we’re happy we are healthier, fitter, have better relationships and live longer. I’ve been reading an interesting book recently entitled ’59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot’ written by psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman. He challenges much of what the self-help industry sells to us in the thousands of books on the bookshop shelves. A friend said to him that if he could find a way to help her make changes to her life in under a minute she would listen to him……….and so developed the book.
I’ve written about this before and I’m standing up and shouting about it again. I believe the path to happiness is found in showing gratitude for the good things we already have in our lives.
Let’s be grateful for the little things just as much as for the great big whoppers! Create the habit of each and every day writing down what you’re grateful for. Even when your life is really sh*t on any particular day and for whatever reason there is ALWAYS something for which we can be grateful.
I’ve always found it good to do this in bed in the evening. That might not work for you. It might be that your gratitude inspiration strikes on the train to work when lost in your reverie or out walking the dog. No excuses for not having your journal or notebook with you, use your phone to write down your thoughts (Moleskine have a great App for iPhone users).
So here’s how I do it. I take a moment to bring myself into the present (ie not thinking about the washing that needs taking out of the dryer or the email that needs a response) and I scan back over my day and see what comes up.
- a great cup of coffee
- my dog showing me unconditional love and affection (might be tricky if it’s a goldfish!)
- a kiss from my boy
- a hug from a friend
- a sunny morning
- the first sip of wine in the evening
- txt msg from my daughter from Uni letting me know all’s good in her world
- a naughty joke email from a cheeky friend -you know who you are!
- home-made lemon curd on really crunchy toast!
The photo above is a reminder of our gratitude this month and especially on 11th November for our armed services who gave and continue to give their lives for their country – that’s you and me. May they always be remembered.
Photo credit : aussiegal