Want to know a simple practice to increase happiness every day? One that takes only moments but can transform your mood? I want to share one of my own personal practices that I know can make a real difference to you too. I’ll show you what it looks like for me with a real example so you can get the hang of it, then I’ll check in with you with daily examples on Facebook so we can ride the happiness train together. Woot! Let’s get 2015 happening!
It’s really simple. You can refocus your happiness quotient by being aware and focusing on two simple things:
- What are you THINKING about?
- What are you THANKING about?
Let’s take them in turn:
1. What are you THINKING about?
Point A: We can only hold one thought in our mind at a time – good news.
Point B: Our mind is very habitual – it follows the same trains of thought again and again – both good news and bad news. It means that if you start on an unhappy/frustrating/sad train of thought you are likely to keep spiraling in that direction. However it also means if you are thinking a happy/joyful/fun/content thought then you are more likely to spiral in that direction too.
We can consciously direct our thoughts. What we THINK about, we get more of. And we want MORE happiness – right? So that means CONCIOUSLY DECIDING to think more happy thoughts. To consciously turn our attention from the traffic/annoying boss/big electricity bill to something happy. The fact our car is going great/that we ticked three things off the To Do list/that we have electricity to do magical things like wash the dishes and our clothes whilst we are doing other things.
Choosing a thing to THINK about each day that inspires happiness is EASY. Sticking to that thought is hard, it takes practice, but the more we choose to return to it the happier we are.
2. What are you THANKING about?
Gratitude is an instant mood transformer. When we take our attention from our problems to what is good in our life and give thanks for it, our happiness levels lift. It’s a good habit as it trains our brain to look for good stuff to be thankful for. The more we do this the easier it gets, so after a while life generally feels much happier and easier.
Do these practices mean that problems, drama and bills will disappear from your life? No. Do these practices mean you have more grace, strength and positivity to deal with the inevitable stuff life throws at you? Absolutely. We get more of what we focus on. What we THINK about and what we THANK about are effectively what we are asking for more of in our life. So – of you are asking for more conflict, difficult people, not enough money, etc ,focus on that. If you want more ease, happiness and contentment – focus on the example of that you DO see and give thanks for them and they will multiply.
So – it’s a very simple practice. I like to do it when I am cleaning my teeth – so I know it happens at least twice a day.
In my head it sounds something like this:
Hmmmmm….today I am THINKING about…my new running and meditation book. I am so happy it’s just arrived from Amazon. I want to learn more about it, it looks really interesting. Today I am THANKING about the fact my ankle has healed well enough I can go running again. I am so thankful my body has healed – even though I know it will take some time to get my fitness back after injury I am so grateful to be able to do it. Thanks body for being such a great healing machine.”
Or something along those lines….it doesn’t have to be War and Peace.
Each day…something different…be creative…that trains your brain too to look for happiness more widely.
Ask yourself: What am I THINKING about? What am I THANKING about?
Simple. Easy. Don’t be deceived by the simple easy thing. This practice, when done daily, is VERY VERY EFFECTIVE.
I want to start a challenge on this! I want you to come join me on Facebook and share your THINKING about and THANKING about inspirations for 30 days. Just two words will do. Use it as your daily check in and reminder and get on the Happiness Train for 2015!