Happiness Tool 1 - Gratitude

The fast track to happiness is gratitude. As we saw before, it’s impossible for love and fear to
co-exist in your brain at the same time. Gratitude is the purest form of love, so it’s
easiest to access and works the quickest. One of the fastest ways to be genuinely
happier is to develop a gratitude habit. Each night before going to sleep, list five things
you’re grateful for that day. If you’re feeling really low and things are going terribly,
sometimes it can be hard to think of five things, but do it anyway. At first it may even
be that you’re most grateful for things that didn’t happen to make things worse; that’s all
right, too. Just keep at it until you have at least five things.

This is a powerful exercise in a few different ways. First of all, just thinking about things to
be grateful for helps you notice the good in your life. Within a few days of starting this
habit, you will notice that it gets a lot easier to think of five things to be grateful for, and
pretty soon you’ll be overflowing your list. I like to insist on a minimum of five things but
keep going for as long as I feel like listing things.

As you focus on things you’re grateful for, listing them becomes easier because you’re
training your brain to notice them. Your brain processes zillions of pieces of information
every day, and it has to filter out the unimportant stuff, which is most of it. But if
you know that later you’ll be making a list of things to be grateful for, your brain no longer
discards those as unimportant; instead, it notes them. When this happens, suddenly the world seems a lot more positive—you start noticing so many more things to be grateful
for.

This also gives you twice as many chances to enjoy the positive experiences of your life: now
you’re more likely to notice each positive experience and appreciate it as it’s happening,
and you get to enjoy it again when you think about it for your gratitude list. Furthermore, by
focusing on the positive right before going to sleep, you put your mind into a positive mode
for the night.

On top of that, positivity attracts more positivity. People are drawn to positivity like plants to the sun, and as you become happier and more positive, people sense it. Have you ever seen someone so happy, you couldn’t help but smile just to watch him or her? Even small things like smiling and saying hello or holding the door for a stranger can make them warm
to you and act friendlier.

There are also other gratitude exercises that can put you on the fast track to happiness.
Instead of listing any five things that you’re grateful, have a theme of the day and list the
top five for that: best books, favorite foods, hobbies, treats, people, songs, colors,
textures... the possibilities are endless.

If you want to step it up a notch, you can take a few minutes two or three times a day to
really savor a small experience. Instead of rushing on, pause and concentrate on enjoying
whatever it is: a flower, fall leaves, a dish of ice cream, the sun on your face, an unusual
moment of quiet. Or create your own moment by taking time out to think about something
that brings you joy. Savoring life’s pleasures and sharing them with others is an effective
way to increase your happiness.

What do you think about these strategies?, try them solo or share with your friends, share your opinion, I "practice the attitude of gratitude" and keep a journal of all the things I'm grateful for;
this alleviates the feeling of lack created by our "world view" which is constantly telling us what we need to possess in order to be happy.

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