Ok, fellow Happiness Explorers… we know there is no quick fix for achieving lasting happiness (and if anyone told you otherwise you’d think they were lying) but if I were to tell you an easy habit that is guaranteed to improve your happiness levels, overall health and closest relationships you’d wanna know, right?
Even better, this habit takes less than 5 minutes a day, you can do it anytime, anywhere and with practice, you will feel the impact immediately.
I’m not kidding. This habit positively changed my life more than any other – I swear by it.
This quick fix is [drumroll]… a daily gratitude practice!
Studies show that a daily practice of gratitude can increase happiness levels by up to 25% – in just 3 weeks!
Plus, people who give thanks regularly experience the following benefits:
- Reduced stress
- Less depression
- More resilience
- Improved sleep
- Increased energy
- Stronger immune systems
…and are generally nicer people to be around (so say their friends).
My own daily gratitude practice started 5 years ago. Before then I was a miserable cow. I would consistently see the negative and expect the worst in every situation.
That was before I learnt about Dr Robert Emmons’ scientific studies on cultivating the powerful emotion of gratitude for self-improvement and better wellbeing.
This guy is a Professor of Psychology, author and leading authority on the psychology of gratitude. After reading about the benefits and speedy results, I was amazed (and, knowing the former me, probably quite suspicious) so I decided to give this simple habit a go. I mean, what could I lose?
Fast forward to today and being grateful is now a natural way of being. I still have to dig deep sometimes but my basic level of happiness is way higher than before. This means that when bad things happen I bounce back quicker and the negative impact on my mood is less. When the shit is hitting the fan I’m looking on the bright side.
How you can cultivate more happiness now
Write down 3 things you are grateful for
Do this each morning in a special gratitude journal or on your phone. It doesn’t matter where – what’s important is creating an easy habit.
Challenge yourself to keep going for at least 21 days straight
Scientific studies show that it takes this long to experience the benefits. You can do it!
Get creative, specific and detailed
These are the secret ingredients for greater impact. If your daily gratitudes regularly return to your cat, Tinder and Netflix try getting creative and adding why you appreciate them.
These prompts will help:
Who or what has made me smile today?
What’s good about what happened today?
How is my life better than it was yesterday?
Make it a social activity!
Spread the happiness and joy further by challenging your friends and family to join in on your daily gratitude habit. Share this blog on Facebook and include what you’re grateful for today.