Day 7: Give Thanks! 12 Thoughts of Christmas
There’s a reason my slogan is ‘Health for the Purpose of Happiness’… the study of happiness absolutely fascinates me.
There are a lot of contradictions when it comes to the attainment of happiness. I see it in many people around me- especially the high achievers… and I know a lot of high achievers!
One of these contradictions is the belief that they don't deserve to be happy because they haven't achieved something yet, or if they are happy with what they have now, they won’t work towards achieving anything else in the future, and consequently, won’t ever have any more than they have now.
It’s a contradiction because it suggests that life stops when you’re happy, while also meaning that you’ll never be happy if you want to keep achieving because if you reach those milestones and therefore happiness, you won’t want to work towards anything else and if you don't achieve anything you won't deserve happiness.
While most people have the belief that they’ll be happy once they achieve a certain milestone (‘I’ll be happy when I finish school, find a partner, get this new job, get this promotion, have this car, when I’m successful etc, etc.), the happiest people in the world know something different.
They know that happiness isn’t a destination, it’s a journey, and, they know that happiness actually creates success.
I’ll explain this more in a future post- there’s much more to it, but, for now, we’ll just focus on how to create happiness, while you’re on your journey to success or your next milestone.
It’s a little thing called gratitude- the practice of actively and regularly appreciating what you have in your life.
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough”.
Practicing gratitude not only increases our happiness, it also improves our mental health, self-esteem, relationships, and friendships, and even helps us at work.
So, how do we do gratitude?
With daily practice! Take the time every day to stop and reflect on what you are grateful for. It will be harder on some days than others, but even choosing something simple, like ‘I appreciate having a roof over my head’ or ‘I am grateful for the sunshine’ can be a good start.
The more specific you can be, the better. For example, instead of saying ‘I’m grateful for my husband’ be more specific. You could say ‘ I’m grateful for the way my husband took time out of his day and helped me out with my project’ or ‘I’m grateful for the way my husband and I laugh at silly jokes together’
Giving thanks isn’t just reserved for American hoidays… Do it daily and see what happens!