‘It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you have!’
The Attitude of Gratitude is a phrase commonly used in the area of Popular Psychology, Coaching and Well-Being fields. But what exactly is it? It is believed that practicing gratitude and being thankful for what you already have in life can increase your happiness.
My 100 day Experiment
As an experiment, I decided to put this practice into place in my life by writing three things I am grateful for every day for 100 days. I also decided that I would never repeat the same thing twice.
I am now at the end of my experiment and I can say that I have noticed some differences. Firstly, let me say, that it wasn’t always easy to come up with three new things that I was grateful for everyday. I found myself getting very creative at times. This made me look at the smaller things in life that can often be overlooked. I even began to write things like ‘I am grateful that I have the ability to earn an income’. This prompted me to look at ‘work’ in a whole new light.
I Get to Work!
‘Work’ is not something I ‘have to do’, rather it is something ‘I get to do’. A friend of mine recently broke his foot. This meant that he was not able to work which, in turn, affected his income and would continue to do so for the next few weeks. He broke his foot when he was out running and had an unfortunate fall. How easily life can change and the thing that you complained about the most can become the thing that you long for when it is suddenly taken away from you.
Creating the Habit
Apart from starting to appreciate the smaller things in life, around 60 days into my experiment I caught myself automatically appreciating things I would normally overlook. I had trained my mind to seek out the good things and I definitely noticed a lightness and a bounce in my step in my daily demeanour. While it is difficult to measure happiness, I can say with confidence that after writing three things I am grateful for for 100 days, that I am indeed a happier person. Let me also say that I have tried this over shorter periods of time, a week or two before. I don’t believe it created the same changes as the longer stint did. It did take up to the 60 day mark before the habit became automatic.
What a simple yet effective way to change the mindset! I have suggested this to some of my clients and while one or two struggled with the idea at first they soon began to appreciate the impact it can have. I would encourage anyone to give this a go! After all, who couldn’t do with a little more happiness?
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