Wednesday, 15 June 2016

How doing this for 5 minutes can make the rest of your day better

On March 21st I have picked up a habit of which I have stopped in January of this year. I thank my friend on Facebook whom I have met at a personal development seminar.

The habit of expressing gratitude daily has improved my outlook on life and has increased my mood.

The appreciation we have for each other and for the things we have is important to realize. We carry with us a gift, everyday we become more in tune and self aware of our surroundings we are able to take control of our reactions.

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them." John F. Kennedy.

Being grateful is the first step, writing it down is the second, acting and showing our gratitude is the ultimate step.

I have written about why you should be grateful and that there are others who have it much worse then you. Here I want to tell you how you can be grateful and what I do everyday to show my appreciation.

Every morning I wake up I go to my office desk pull out my journal and write down 3-5 things that I am grateful for. I do not repeat them from the day before. By doing this it makes me think deeper about what I am grateful for and why.

This begins my day on a positive note. I write down things as small as enjoying the sunshine to bigger things such as closing a sale or spending time with my nephews. Other examples are learning to do a task, being patient with my partner, getting my bills sorted, contributing to a good cause, taking care of my loved ones...

Spending 5 minutes to be appreciative is something we tend to be too busy for. How is this possible? Have you sat down and really thought about what you are grateful for?

The things that work for me may not work for you. This I consider is universal. You cannot have a good thought and a bad thought at the same time, neither can you have a good thought and feel bad at the same time. Studies have proven this. You can try it out for yourself right now.

Think of something that you are grateful for; how does that make you feel? Do you feel depressed, dreadful, and stressed? Let me answer this for you, NO.

Barbara L. Frederickson on the American Phycologist has tested the impact of positive thinking and has concluded that positive thinking can broaden your possibilities and open your mind up to more options. Your mental health flourishes, reducing stress and anxiety.

Dr. Emmons and Dr. McCullough, two phycologists, have completed studies which prove that people who wrote daily things they were grateful for were more optimistic about their lives, exercised more and had fewer visits to the physicians as opposed to those that were given the task to write down the things that irritated or displeased them.

How can thinking positively and grateful be good for business? The question instead should be, how can it not?

I am a realist; I am human just like you. I cannot be happy and grateful all the time. Let's face it, life is a constant challenge. It will bring your mood up and down inevitably. But predictably you can begin your day set of in a better, healthier mood, by spending 2-5 minutes thinking about the things that you appreciate and are grateful for.

Will you feel happy for the rest of the day? Probably not. It can however increase the chances of you feeling better, or lessen your negative reaction when something shitty happens.

Why not end your day with gratitude? That is a really good way to go to bed as well. There are also studies shown that how you go to bed will affect your night's sleep. Your sleep in turn will affect you next day's productivity. It is a cycle, one that Arianna Huffington talks about in her Sleep Revolution non fiction book and which I feel requires a full dedicated post for.

Thank you for reading this post, you see I am always grateful for not only writing the posts but also for you coming all the way to the bottom to read this part. I hope you didn't skip the insightful middle part. To be continued....

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