I read an interesting article the other day: it discussed the habits of happy people versus the habits of unhappy people. One of the big factors in feeling happy in life is a sense of gratitude; the more grateful people were, the happier they tended to be.
Days slip by quickly sometimes and I don’t always remember to be thankful. Also, it’s often easier to focus on what’s going wrong, rather than what’s going right, thanks to the negativity bias of the human brain. How can we make more time to be grateful with such busy lives?
Build a Routine
Take a few minutes each day to reflect on the many beautiful things in life. It’s an easy practice you can incorporate into your everyday routine, such as right before bed or right upon waking. It takes only a few minutes and it will refocus your brain to have a more positive outlook.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Write down a few things (or even just one thing) you are grateful for each day. It could be a person who helped you that day, a random act of kindness you witnessed, or a situation that didn’t go wrong. On a day you’re feeling down, reference the journal entries for an instant mood refresh.
Retrain Your Brain
After making gratitude a habit of your everyday life, you can actually retrain your brain to focus on the positives, instead of the negatives, that happen each day. Once you start to make this outlook a habit, your brain will begin to automatically search for what’s going right. All it takes is a few minutes a day!
It’s almost guaranteed that something positive happened to you today. What was it?