As we’ve mentioned in the past, it is very easy to become dissatisfied with some or many aspects of our lives. In fact, it is much easier to be unhappy than it is to be happy – it takes less work. The reason being, there are so many things in life that we don’t have (and that we are reminded of regularly through the media), so it’s very easy to think about and develop a desire for them (i.e., a fancier car, a bigger house, a better body, etc.).
If we truly want to be happy, we need to put in a little bit more work to focus on the things we do have. Here are a few practical tips to get us started:
1. Spend five minutes writing down everything we are grateful for
Our phones or a journal works great for this. The key here is to write down as many things as we possibly can. It’s pretty easy to think of things in the first minute, but after that it requires us to dig deeper. Did you think of your sense of taste, or your socks?
2. Spend the next month adding one to three things to the list
Every day, we may find something new we are grateful for that we hadn’t previously thought of. Maybe something has changed in our life that we need to account for. Keep adding to the list for a month, because the list of things we should be grateful for is potentially endless.
3. Spend five minutes a day prioritizing our list
When we have completed step two, we are ready for the bigger challenge – prioritizing. Spend the first week narrowing down the list to the top 100, the second to the top 50, the third to the top 30, and the fourth to the top 20. In doing so, we are challenging ourselves to compare between items on our list, and we’ll start to think more deeply about all of their inherent benefits.
As a result, we’ll start to focus more on all of the things we do have in our lives, and how much joy they actually bring us. We just need to start paying attention.
Thank you for reading.