The Science Of Happiness; and 4 Things You Can Start Doing Today!

Do you wish you were happier?

Wish that there was something that you could do to generate some true and everlasting happiness? Well look no further my friends, because I’, about to tell you  4 uber-cool ways to get turn your frown upside-down.

After having read ‘Thank and Grow Rich’, a book written by Pamela Grout, (more links to my fave books here) last year, I’ve experienced the benefits of practicing Gratitude first hand.

I’ve found that even when you think you don’t have it all, by simply focusing on what you have today, you’ll make space for a positive mindset, and you’ll actually be happier. Yes, you read right. It’ll MAKE YOU HAPPIER.

Watch this video to get the gist of what I’m saying:

Now that you’ve watched this really cool lab-guy in a white coat explain how the art of gratitude can make you happier, think about this:   The average person has an estimated 70,000 thoughts per day! (That’s crazy right?)

Now take a moment to think about the thoughts that run through your mind. Are they positive and uplifting? “Today is going to be an amazing day!” Or negative and self-defeating? “I don’t have the energy to get through today.”

Positive and grateful thoughts boost your mood, spirit, and tend to generate even more positivity and happiness in your life. Conversely, negative thoughts can create a domino effect of destructive energy. Falling into a spiral of negativity tremendously affects how you live your life and how others perceive you. Thankfully, you don’t have to accept the negative internal chatter. Choose to switch to a happier perception and reach for better thoughts. It takes a little practice, but soon enough, your mind will gravitate to the brighter side of life. Practice cultivating a positive, grateful mindset with these tips.

As Abraham Hicks say in their book – ask and it is given,’ We are often asked, Isn‘t love a better word than appreciation? Isn‘t love more descriptive of the Non- Physical Energy? And we say that love and appreciation are really the same vibration. Some use the word gratitude, or a feeling of thankfulness, but all of these words are descriptive of Well-Being. A desire to appreciate is a very good first step, and then as you find more things that you would like to say “Thank you” about, it quickly gains momentum. And as you want to feel appreciation, you attract something to appreciate. And as you appreciate it, then you attract something else to appreciate, until, in time, you are experiencing a Rampage of Appreciation.’

So what does it actually mean to MAKE SPACE FOR GRATITUDE? and what do I define as being grateful?  I think that the simple act of being aware and thankful of the good things that happen (and even the not-so-good things, as these are the ones that actually provide us with a silver lining of greatness to be grateful for) ; & taking time to express thanks.

Here are some ways I like to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis.

  1. I keep a gratitude journal and each day write down FIVE thoughts (and or more) that I’m grateful for.  I do this first thing in the morning, EVERY MORNING.  Whether i have 5 minutes or 15 minutes, expressing gratitude for me is a daily ritual.  I recently read that writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, simply spending just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer. (i’m going to start this tonight). I received this Wedding Journal as a gift for our engagement, but because I’m not the sorta gal to plan everything to a tee, I didn’t really use it, so I’m modifying the content.  
  2. When you want to express your gratitude to a friend or family member, Write a thank-you note, or even just send a text. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing to them, expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life. Send it, or better yet, deliver a hand-written letter and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter/ text a month.
  3. Thank someone mentally.  It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.  With every thought you think, every emotion you feel, you’re acting as an epigenetic engineer of your own cells. YOU control your destiny. If you continue to focus on the things that you’re most grateful for, those things will continue to appear in your life. You will begin to change the neurological circuitry of your brain, and begin to think from that new level of mind.  Pretty incredible right?!
  4. Meditate!  This is BIG ONE!! People who are disciplined to meditate daily can use meditation to cultivate gratitude.  You can also use a technique called mindfulness meditation, which involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as “peace”), it is also possible to focus on what you’re grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.).

Gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools that we all have access to every day. Cultivating gratitude doesn’t cost any money and it certainly doesn’t take much time, but the benefits are enormous.

We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude. Simply take a few moments to focus on all that you have – rather than complain about all the things you think you deserve. Developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.

(ps . this is not the first post I’ve written about gratitude – see another by clicking here)