I don’t know about you, but sometimes my circumstances can really get me down and affect the happiness I experience. At times I feel like a hamster on a wheel – chasing after something that seems impossible to reach. Deciding it was time for me to get off the wheel, I began a journey to test the theory I had heard so much about.
Studies have been done to help determine what contributes to happiness, and it seems science is showing that ninety percent of our long-term happiness is linked to how we view the world, not what our external world actually looks like.
Okay – then how can we change the way we view the world? Well, science has an answer for that too. Here are a few suggestions based on popular research. (See dailyhealthpost.com/gratitude-rewires-brain-happier)
- Each day write down three SPECIFIC things you are grateful for – from the great cup of coffee your husband made you to the beautiful sunset you experienced driving home from work. Having a gratitude journal is a great way to remember the many things in my life to be grateful for (especially when it’s one of those days that causes it to be difficult to see the good things around!).
- At least once per week, engage in a random act of kindness – send a thank you note to a friend, surprise your wife with a special dinner, or tell one of your kids what makes you proud about them.
- Every week journal about a positive experience.
Why does this work? Well, science proves that we can actually retrain our brains to see more of the positive things around us rather than focusing on the negative. I know it worked for me. Please don’t misunderstand; I still have difficult days. But I don’t feel like a hamster on a wheel anymore. And I am consciously looking for the good around me.
Philippians 4:8 NIV: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”