These Two Things
This is a quick article, but it could be life changing.
Happiness guru, Shawn Achor, suggests two things, two tiny things, to start today, to move closer to a happier life. Whether you're already feeling great, or in a bit of a funk, these have been researched and proven to help. So I'd like to challenge you to try them.
1. A two minute email.
Every morning, as you get to work (or if you don't work pick a routine time, early in the day), write a two minute email. Just a few lines. Write to someone to tell them why you appreciate them, or thank them for something they've done for you. You'll probably start with people close to you, which is really valuable. The benefits get even bigger when you start reconnecting with people you haven't spoken to in a while. It doesn't have to be an email, you can do this on the phone or face to face if you prefer.
The effects of this work on two levels. First, you are on the receiving end of the endorphins and hormones that kindness activate (more on this in my next article). Second, your sense of community and connection are enhanced. Both of these things lead to a huge leap in your joy-levels.
2. Three reasons to be grateful
At the end of the day, think of three things you're grateful for. This can be a super quick exercise each day. Try to find one time of day that you can turn into a habit. I do it when I'm changing into my pyjamas. Extra points if you write it all down!
There are two rules to this one.
Firstly: Choose different things every night. Of course I'm grateful for my husband and daughter every second of my life, but the point of the exercise is to train our brains to look for the good in each day – so finding new reasons is very important.
Secondly: Each point of gratitude must have a reason, so that you really think about it. For example “I am grateful for my daughter, because she makes up songs, and they make me laugh.
It all seems really simple, doesn't it. Lets give it a go!
Happy days, Joy-seekers.