Of all the “Success Hacks” I have learned over the past 14 month of my journey to success and happiness, one really stands out. It’s a simple practice that literally takes 5 minutes a day .. YES 5 MINUTES .. so there is NO reason whatsoever for you not to do the same.
What is this 5 minute practice that changed my life you ask?
That’s it, a simple daily practice of gratitude that takes 5 minutes. Below is a quick overview of the benefits of gratitude. Please keep in mind this is NOT mambo jumbo. These findings have been researched and it works .. plain and simple (I’m also living proof and you can take my word for it). All you have to do is follow a simple 5 minute routine every day just before you go to sleep.
Above Chart Thanks to Happier Human (Click to see their article on Gratitude)
Practicing gratitude 5 minutes daily 3 weeks has a profound effect on your level of happiness. Not only will you feel better in the short term, it has been found that even after stopping the practice (a silly thing to do I know), people still have a higher level of happiness up to 3 months later!
Think about it, 5 minutes a day for 21 days and you will be happier for months. It won’t cost you anything, no tablets to take, no courses to go on, no doctors to go see, just 5 minutes of quiet time before bed time.
How to Practice Gratitude
The question is “How do we practice Gratitude”. Off course there are numerous ways of doing this, but let me tell you how I do it. Quick and easy and you can adapt it into your daily ritual in a flash.
I use a little app on my Samsung Tablet called “Private Diary” and keep a daily Gratitude Journal. Every evening just before sleep-time (sometimes evening while lying in bed) I open the Private Diary App and write (type) down the 5 things of the day I am grateful for. Just 5 things, nothing more BUT definitely nothing less.
It can be anything from that lovely smell in the morning when I made my morning bulletproof coffee, the hug from my children, the smile of your soul mate, the lovely sun shining onto your back, the fact that you are healthy or that your commute to work was 5 minutes shorter … there are just so many thing to be grateful for. All you have to do is note down 5 of them.
While doing this you are training your brain to see the good in your daily life. After a while the habit sets in and your brain knows … Tonight we have to write down 5 things, better concentrate on the good stuff so I have plenty to choose from.
And that’s it. Once your brain is trained to see the things in your life you are grateful for you will notice a snowball effect. The more you see, the more good things will happen and the more you see etc etc. And the result …
When our brains are wired to notice the good things in life we automatically feel better about ourselves and our lives. We forget the negativity and remember the positive. This results in a more positive attitude and that results in even more positive experiences and even more happiness.
Everything starts with small steps and the key is to take action IMMEDIATELY (#GiganticAction). Don’t wait until you feel good before you start keeping your Gratitude Journal, start today and do it for 21 days. You will be amazed at the difference it makes in your live.
Below is a short clip by Shawn Achor, the author of the best selling book The Happiness Advantage (get it and read it if you have not yet). In this fast-moving and entertaining talk, he argues that actually happiness inspires productivity and that through a simple act of gratitude we can attain within what we always strive for out there!