Power of Gratitude

Since December last year, I’ve started to note 5 things I feel happy or thankful or gratitude for a day. It’s been more than one month and I must say I like doing it and I like the feeling of it, much more than I initially expected.

I got this idea from an online course that I’ve been taking at coursera, The Science of Well-Being hosted by Yale university professor Ms. Laurie Santos.
(I’m kind of hooked, now I’m listening to her podcast “happiness lab”, too.)

Right, as you just imagined now, this is one of the tips to boost your happiness introduced in her lecture and I decided to take it into practice and see how it goes.

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So, have I been feeling happier than before? Does this tip really work?

A short quick answer is YES. I do feel like I’m constantly feeling happier than before (maybe not ONLY because of this particular tip as there are some other tips she talks in the lecture and I’m trying to take as much tips into practice as I can. I’m a good student 😉 Well, I’ll talk about all the other tips another time!).

So in this article, I want to share what I’ve learnt through this practice.

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

<< Reminds me that nothing is permanent >>

In other words, everything is changing. Since I start it I’ve become more mindful of present moment because I don’t want to miss the opportunity to feel good and I’ve realised that things never stays the same.

I want to see it, feel it, listen to it, taste it and smell it. The more I become mindful of these things, the more I realise how lucky I am and how fortunate I am to be just alive here. Even with enough food, money, clothes, water, place to live and everything I just happen to have now. How about you?

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<< Even on a worst feeling day you’ll find something grateful for >>

Nobody’s able to stay happy and positive all the time. It’s completely normal and I think that’s how life goes on. So some of you may think it’s impossible to write about 5 things feeling grateful for on the most crappy feeling day.

But is that really true?

Sometimes, especially when we are not having the best day, our mind would be just blind to all the little good things happening to us and we would be just trapped inside of this tiny ruminating mind.

So whenever I realise my mind is becoming too busy I try these things;

・Take a shower…negative rumination tends to occur at night so taking shower almost alway helps me to feel better!
・Take a deep breath…super simple but it gives me a break to pause endless chatter in my mind and bring me calmness.
・Keep asking WHY to myself… WHY am I feeling this way? WHY did that thing annoyed me? WHY…? like a mini investigation. I think doing this helps me to get out of instant reaction and give myself enough space to really think and face what matters to me.

These things doesn’t take much time to do and at the end of the day, you’ll remember the colour of the beautiful sky you see, the taste of the food you had or the fluffy cute doggy that you see on the street.

Photo by Tobias Zils on Unsplash

The biggest change, however, is that I now truly have the deepest gratitude to my husband, to my family and to people around me for just being there.

Their existence is so precious and I should never take it for granted. I think everybody knows this but we are so likely to get used to it and it is so easy to forget the preciousness.

This gratitude journal is a daily reminder for me to remember what I have is something special. It may seem small thing but it changed my perception of the world I live in;

・I’m less jealous of what other people have in general but especially what I see on social media.
・It becomes easier to talk to people around me, not only to my neighbours but people who just happen to be there at a supermarket, on a street, waiting in a queue etc.
・I would compare with others much less than before….

Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

Since then I’ve started to give my husband massage as often as possible before going to bed. (Because he always works hard for me sitting in front of the desk, organising a lot of stuffs or things I don’t even notice. He always takes care of me with huge love.)

And I’ve started to tell him more often how thankful I am to be with him or whatever things he does. (Because I DO.)

And I’ve started to ask him how he is feeling in the morning, how he is feeling after shower or if he is enjoying meals. (Because it is important and he is important.)

It’s not easy to live overseas with different culture and different language… and I’m not perfect of doing it yet. (Just like the other day I got so grumpy and annoyed at teeny tiny thing and couldn’t give him massage… )

But that’s ok. As long as we care for each other at the end of the day.

It is really a tiny steps but I feel like I’m improving and I’m happy with it.

Since I’ve moved from Japan and rest of my family members are in Japan (I miss them so much, by the way), all I have here is my husband. He is my one and only family for me and I want to make him happy.

Photo by Miha Arh on Unsplash

Anyway, this is how I’ve been doing these days and what I find about the power of gratitude.

Writing a diary every day is hard but writing just 5 things you feel thankful for is not so hard. If you are looking for something new to start for your good habit or simply want to boost your happiness, I highly recommend this gratitude journal. It’s easy, simple and effective 🙂

Thank you for reading till the end. Much love.

XoxoX Erika.