A daily practice for more happiness
What 1 small thing can you do to guarantee a better day?
Show gratitude. It makes you happier, healthier, more likeable, and more optimistic – along with a boatload of other amazing benefits.
I know, it feels a little warm-fuzzy fluffy. But it really is simple and will make your day better.
What works for you?
I’d tried before to write in a journal each night but I would always fell off the bandwagon.
Eventually I realized this method wasn’t working for me.
The Express Gratitude Challenge
As a result, I developed the Express Gratitude Challenge!
It’s a great practice for people who are visual and artistic, and also want a science-supported gratitude practice.
How it works:
A study from USC shows that writing several sentences about one topic more powerful than listing off a variety of things you are grateful for.
It’s about depth and complexity.
Pair that with a photo or image to symbolize what you’re grateful for and boom – an artistic gratitude practice which packs a powerful punch!
Take part in the challenge!
Here’s how to get in on the action:
Take a photo of of whatever represents your Gratitude of the Day.
Write a couple sentences explaining what the photo represents, why you’re grateful – or anything else which will help you explore it further.
Post it on Instagram using the hashtag #ExpressGratitude
Rinse and repeat! If you can, do this daily. It’ll help build your ‘gratitude muscle.’
Training your brain for gratefulness
Why does this work so well?
The magic is that once you’ve set your brain on a mission, it’ll do its darndest to fulfill it.
Ever notice that when you learn something new or talk about something, it seems to be everywhere? For example, you talk to your friend who is buying a blue car and it suddenly seems like every car is blue.
This is your brain’s Reticular Activating System (RAS) at work. It filters information, and it only lets what it considers to be important (based on your current preferences or life safety) reach your awareness.
Deciding you want to find things to be grateful for will tell your brain to start filtering these things into your awareness.Your brain will be all like,
“Hey! What about this? Or this? This is pretty great!”
So even though the Express Gratitude Challenge only looks to highlight one thing per day, your brain will be working round the clock to identify all sorts of good things.
We’re in this together, friends. We all need a bit of accountability to make sure we follow through.
I’d love for you to join me in this gratitude challenge! Let’s connect on Instagram.
If you don’t feel like playing along just yet, you can help me by following my feed. It’ll keep me on my toes and make sure that I follow through! Also, when you feel like joining in, you can hop on the gratitude train and start playing along.
Bringing you gratitude – and a photographer’s eye,
Do you have a gratitude practice? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!