We set aside one day a year devoted to being thankful for all of the many blessings in our lives. While I love the Thanksgiving holiday, we would all be much happier if we learned to practice the skill of gratitude on a daily basis.
For the month of November, I am challenging you to do just that. By November 30th, you’ll be amazed at how much happier you are, just by recognizing all of the many wonderful things that make up your life.
Here is the three-step challenge:
Step 1. When you wake-up in the morning, start your day by thinking of one thing you are looking forward to that day. It doesn’t have to be anything special. As a matter of fact, this challenge works much better if you focus on the ordinary pleasures of your day. Spend about 30 seconds giving your complete attention to this one thing you are looking forward to experiencing. List all of the reasons in your mind. Imagine how the moment will look, feel, smell and taste (if it involves a meal).
Step 2. End your day by closing your eyes and calling to mind something that happened during the day that made you feel good. It could be a simple compliment from a co-worker or a hug from your child. The more ordinary the event, the better it is for this challenge. Bring the moment to mind and hold it in your thoughts as long as you can by going over all of the details of how it felt, what the room was like, what where the reactions of the people around you, and whatever details you can remember.
Step 3. Once a week, choose three of your best, ordinary moments and describe them in a journal entry. It can be hand-written or a computer journal. Write one paragraph about why those three moments stood out in your week. Whenever you are feeling down, read through your journal to remember all of the good things that make up your life.
Why This Practice Works
When we are feeling grateful, our minds are not able to process negative feelings like depression, anxiety or worry. This is why gratitude is like an instant happiness pill you can take anytime you are feeling down.
Researchers tell us that we tend to focus on our negative emotions and brush past the happier moments of our day. The negative is imprinted into our memories more deeply than the more pleasant events. By holding on to those happy moments and reliving them, we imprint them into our memories and expand our ability to experience happiness.
Take the challenge and experience it for yourself.
Tagged with: children and youth • complete attention • good things • gratitude journal • Gratitude Practice • happiness pill • happiness skills • happy moment • Human Interest • negative emotion • november happiness challenge • survival mechanism • This one
Filed under: Happiness Challenge
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