So now you’re on the journey to happiness. Remember happiness is the journey, not the destination. Showing appreciation and giving thanks everyday sounds like a piece of cake, but practicing gratitude takes discipline and courage.
Along the way, you may get derailed with “bad days”. The endless chatter of thoughts racing through our minds can distract us from all there is to be thankful for, so here are some good pairings to reinforce that gratitude practice.
Merriam-Webster defines mindfulness as:
the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.
Like gratitude practice, research has shown a few weeks of mindfulness practice has enormous mental, physical, and social benefits.
Mindfulness is the practice of staying fully present when you are doing everyday things. Focus on your surroundings, be there in conversations and avoid letting thoughts take over. Techniques to bring you back to the present moment include consciously paying attention to your body and breath. From feeling every sensation when you take a walk to focusing on taking a sip of water, these are all opportunities to exercise mindfulness.
In order to move forward, give up sadness and thoughts from the past that can bog you down in the present. These memories made you who you are, now it’s time to accept this and let them go so you can make the most of your potential. It’s not too late at any age.
Another trait believed to lead to happiness is compassion. Studies have shown people who give to others have increased levels of happiness. Focusing outward instead of on yourself helps to lift the attention off yourself and may even provide a larger life perspective.