The other day, I read an amazing excerpt about an essential skill called Happiness. The piece is called “Happiness Isn’t a Feeling — It’s a Skill That Can Be Learned,” in case you wanted to check it out. It’s actually an excerpt from the book, Happier Now: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Embrace Everyday Moments (Even the Difficult Ones). This piece explores various studies and ideas surrounding the concept of learning happiness- which I truly found fascinating. It resonated deeply with me even though I already consider myself a happy person. Despite this, I still struggle with issues such as self-doubt, lack of inspiration and creativity- issues that I’m sure other people struggle with as well. But this article gave me a kind of “Ah-Ha!” It got my wheels turning in a different way. What if there was a way for me to unlock a different level of Happiness? A way for me to guarantee that every day had the potential to be a great day? Wouldn’t that be amazing?! All I would have to do is figure out how to reach this new level.
Currently, I see Happiness as a feeling or something that just happens on its own, so I love the idea of being able to control it as a skill. So how do we learn happiness? By practicing gratitude.
Gratitude is defined by Merriam-Webster as the state of being grateful or appreciative of benefits received. Sometimes it’s so difficult to see past the fog and happy for the right now or the things you currently have- but instead of wallowing in what you don’t have, it’s more beneficial to be grateful for what you do have. Studies have shown that practicing gratitude can improve self-esteem, help overcome trauma, even improve sleep and more! With all of the benefits this provides, happiness will naturally increase. Like all things though, good habits must be formed and cultivated! It all starts with a plan.
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know about how important journaling is to me. (If you don’t, now you do!) Journaling is the best way to keep ideas flowing. It’s a non-biased place for every thought you have- even the not so good ones! It’s also a great way to begin practicing gratitude. It can simply be done by writing down a couple things you are grateful for, then read it back to yourself. The key to this practice is to truly feel grateful or it’s just scribbles on a piece of paper! By taking a couple moments just for yourself, you are taking control of your day and its outcome. It’s very difficult to be upset about silly things when you have already seen the number of things you’re grateful for!
For the next 30 days, I am starting a personal challenge to practice gratitude every day. I’ll begin each day by writing down 3 things I’m grateful for, and then I’ll reflect on each one individually. Over the next 30 days, I’ll also track how I feel and if my outlook has changed. I’ll be writing down every single thought I have as to form a bigger picture the benefits. Join me on this challenge as well!
That’s all for this time!! If you are going to take the Gratitude Challenge with me, leave me an “I’m in!” in the comments section. I am so excited to take this journey with you all, and I can’t wait to see the outcome. Cheers!