Recently, I was surfing the TEDx Talks channel on Youtube and found a talk offered by Shawn Achor. He is the author of The Happiness Advantage, and he’s shaking up the happiness industry with his profound findings on happiness and mental health.
Achor is an advocate for ‘positive psychology,’ which is the belief that a positive brain will perform much better than a negative/stressed brain. Many people think, (me included) that things will get better if we just work harder, or lose a few pounds, get a promotion, attain new credentials, etc.. We meet these milestones, pat ourselves on the back and then set new bigger and better ideals over and over again chasing ‘happiness’.
After listening to his talk I decided I was in need of some positivity in my life because I’m guilty of always wanting more after I’ve achieved something. My self-talk goes something like this:
If I’d just organise my desk I’d dedicate more time to writing, if I’d take that class on e-marketing I’ll finally know what I’m doing with my business, if I buy that colourful silverware I’ve always wanted I’ll be more encouraged to have friends over for a dinner party. And on and on. Yes, I did buy that colourful silverware, and I love it!
Shawn Achor’s 21-Day Challenge has five facets you can choose from, all of which will help to train the brain to be positive. The five options are: Exercise, Meditation, Journaling, Random Acts of Kindness and Three Gratitudes. I decided to take on the Three Gratitudes because I know I often fail to acknowledge how fortunate I am to be healthy, strong and safe.
Today is day #14 of writing down three things I’m grateful for, as well as writing one thing that I find beautiful in the day. I’m finally at the point where I enjoy writing down my thoughts each day, it just takes a minute or two and I’m finding that as the days progress I’m reminding myself more often to take note for things for which I am grateful. Yesterday, for example, as I was flying from Melbourne to Sydney, it occurred to me to be grateful for the wonder of flight. How that tin can shuttles humans from one destination to another is amazing and I’m so grateful I get to experience that great wonder.
What are you grateful for? Feel free to leave a comment below and share your gratitude.