I am doing a 5year happiness project. Each day for 5 years you write what you are thankful for each day. Just a sense of gratitude each day, as a way to remind yourself of all the reasons to be grateful. It is actually quite powerful and yet so simple. It heals and helps reduce stress. And helps keep things in perspective.
There is a good quote by Buddha “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one which gets burned.” So instead of focusing on anger, resentment, envy, or jealousy….I am trying to focus on gratitude. And mindfulness and mediation. Some days are easier said than done. So this project each day of writing just one sentence is really helping me keep things in check.
As part of this process I am also trying to focus on treating myself like a good friend. Listen, be kind and forgive yourself and others through the process of gratitude. I am finding being more lighthearted is work! It takes energy, generosity, and discipline (to others and to yourself) to lighten your stress level. It takes discipline to date yourself, journal, take bathes, mediate, etc…all while working, being a good partner, friend, and family member. But I am finding the return on investment is more than I ever expected. In a good way. It feels amazing. And it actually allows me to realize there is even more to be thankful for than I originally thought. Mainly because I am being more present in the moment through my mindfulness work which allows me to appreciate more little moments in time.
No need to do a 5year project like me, but writing a note or listing what you are thankful for every once and awhile can go a long way. Try it. Focus on some of the little quiet moments as well. What are you thankful for?
First of all … good for you. Sharing your insights and experiences is a terrific way to evolve as a writer. Good for you for taking the plunge. I am intrigued by your thought process. Take care and keep writing! I’m looking forward to your next post.
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Such insight! Yes, it is work to stay “lighthearted” but as you point out, our happiness muscles get stronger the more we use them. Thank you for this reminder. Love your blog.
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