In the stress of everyday life, we often forget the things we already have. We’re far more likely to notice what’s missing and what’s not going well, rather than seeing the good that’s already there. However, this attitude gnaws at our self-esteem over time, and our respect for ourselves decreases and thus our well-being. If we make ourselves more aware of all the positive things we have in our lives and how far we have come, we can change the way we look at ourselves and, ideally, be happier or at least more content.
GRATITUDE EXERCISE: IN 3 MINUTES TO A HAPPIER LIFE
An effective way to do this is to practice gratitude. In her book The Art of Gratitude, author and transformational coach Nazanin Mandi present a 3-minute exercise that can help you feel a whole lot more happiness in a short amount of time. That’s how it’s done:
Minute 1: Sit comfortably. Your surroundings should radiate calm and peace. Maybe light some candles, sit between cozy cushions, or put on some relaxing music. Arrive in your space and focus on the here and now.
Minute 2: Now list three to five aspects that make your body and mind joyful. It can be people, activities, or anything you can think of. You can jot them down on a piece of paper, say them out loud, or play them out quietly in your head. Choose the method with which you can empathize particularly well with the feeling of happiness.
Minute 3: Breath deeply into this state of gratitude. Enjoy the moment of peace and happiness that you have given yourself. Maybe closing your eyes and putting your hands on your heart will help you. Then slowly open your eyes and return to everyday life – full of happiness in your luggage.
The more often you do this exercise, the more you will see and attract the good in your life – not only Mandi is convinced of this, but also science. For example, one study found that grateful people experience less pain and feel healthier than people who would not describe themselves as particularly grateful. So it’s definitely worth trying out.