You are not going to believe this, its too simple.
The path to daily happiness starts with a beautiful simple question: What have I got to be thankful for, right now?
Can it be this easy to personally obtain positive and healthy Mental health?!
No, its not a total solution, but it is a great first step to start the journey.
Just like you when start your physical health journey with eating well and controlling what you feed your body, Thankfulness is that great start of a healthy inner life centred around:
'feed your mind good food'
And Thankfulness is that good food.
How we feel and what we think about is influenced by what we see and hear on a daily basis:
So what are you feeding your mind?
If its the news, then you are feeding yourself problems and tragedy.
If its social media, then you are feeding on other peoples great experiences which I wish we could all be happy for people but the result is often comparison.
If its advertising, then you are looking at what you don't have but what you need to have a better life.
If its TV's or movies, then its an unrealistic picture of life or just a mind numbing end to your busy day - no judgement, I get it!.
This is what we are eating. If the saying; 'you are what you eat' is true then as a result of feeding on the above are we :
Sad, constantly comparing our life to others, always wanting more stuff and either numb or dis-illusioned about what real life is.
So how can we feed our minds and hearts good food? Firstly we need to recognise the potential damage this input is causing us and then we need to become the nightclub bouncer for our minds. And this is where the surprising power of Thankfulness comes in:
Thankfulness = The nightclub bouncer for our minds
Thankfulness takes any situation and looks for the good. It looks for what there is that we can appreciate about it.
Thankfulness looks for what is going well, not what is going wrong.
Thankfulness looks at what we do have and not what we don't have.
And the result of thinking these thoughts is your mind and heart are lifted up.
Its that simple.
Thankfulness is thinking to yourself; 'what is there that I feel thankful for right now?'.
The result of being thankful day by day is; optimism, hope, joy, smiles and a diminishing sense of gloom.
The idea is simple. Putting this into practice can be challenging. This is because we are used to looking at all that is going wrong:
This is possibly what your morning looks like:
You wake up - 'Ugh, another day. Ugh I’m sore, my leg hurts, its hard to get out of Bed. This water is freezing'. Looking in the mirror. 'Agh what is that on my nose. I slept funny. I need a haircut. My ears are slightly off. Ugggh, I’ve got to go to school or work today'. Sad face staring back at you from the mirror.
This is just letting any thought run through your mind.
This is what a morning with a Thankfulness mindset looks like:
You wake up and think what is there to be thankful for: 'Well I'm thankful for a new day, I’m thankful that I could stand up, thankful for running water that is clean' looking in the mirror 'I’m thankful that I have got a mirror, I’m thankful I have a nose, I’m thankful that I don’t have a new born baby and managed to sleep last night, I’m thankful that I have hair', or if you don’t have hair: 'thankful that you save so much money on haircuts, Thankful that I have ears to hang my sunglasses on, thankful that I can hear.'
Who is going to have the better day?
The difference is thankfulness turns your attention towards what is great about life and how much you actually have. Not being thankful leaves you dwelling on all that is wrong, because for some reason our brains can easily differ to this.
Thankfulness is intentionally look at all the good that is in front of you. This takes mental discipline and establishing new thought habits.
Road works in your brain.
We have developed brain pathways over years of living that our thoughts easily travel down and now we need to send those thoughts down a new positive path and this requires mental road works.
No one like road works. Bumpy, slow detours while the new road is being built. But when you are driving down the new smoother, faster road - having developed new thought patterns - life is better.
So, is Thankfulness simple? Yes.
Is it easy? No, not yet, but the more you put a habit of thankfulness in place, It gets much easier with time.
Are you controlling what you see and hear?
Can you recognise the power of a thankful mind? If yes, will you put the Thankfulness Bouncer at the door of your mind?
Do you want to start this journey to a healthier mental and emotional life today?
If yes, start training your mind now. When you get up in the morning and before you go to bed just do this simple thing:
Think of 10 things to be Thankful for.
Thanks for reading and if you liked it, follow us on FB @begreatNZ for more on the life changing power of Thankfulness.
Thank you ;)