Ok, I know what you’re thinking. She’s about to go all ‘Oprah’ on me. But as many of you know I have read a few (!) books on happiness and one of the biggest takeaways is that gratitude is an essential ingredient for feeling happier.
For those of you who read my blog about my bouncing time with Tony Robbins you may recall I committed to 90 days of practicing gratitude following his routine. Every morning for 10 minutes (I’m taking his word for it) he meditates on what he is grateful for. Controversial in itself as for most meditation is about clearing the mind as much as possible. However here’s what he suggests:
Dedicate 3 mins to thinking about what you are grateful for right now, today, yesterday. So that’s everything from the wind in your hair, the colour of the green leaves, a beautiful sunset to a good cronut (!), a big break through you’ve had, your bed, the laughs you recently had with a friend. Whatever.
This is followed by 3 mins of being grateful for those outstanding folk in your life and/ or sending people love who come up for you and you feel may need it (hint: they may not be close friends and family – it’s fascinating who ‘shows up’). Just the act of sending love and good feelings has been quite transformative for me.
Finally 3 mins meditating on gratitude for what is coming into your life. So if you have a vision board – it is that! Spend time feeling yourself achieving your goals and being grateful for them coming into your life.
I realise this does not add up to 10 mins but by the time you drift from gratitude for the hot chups you ate last night, to sending your over-friendly neighbour some gratitude then launch into visualising your ridiculously amazing future you’ll find ten mins goes like that!
A couple of key points.
- Doing it when you first wake up in bed usually ends in you falling back to sleep. Get out of bed or at least sit up. Do it somewhere comfortable but not so comfy you end up dribbling on yourself.
- To help with timing I use the Simply Being appmusic so I know when my time is up – nothing like a bit of ‘calm ocean shore’ to keep one focused.
- I love a good multi task so I attempted the ‘gratitude-drive’ – though potentially talked to myself so not the best look let alone the concentration levels. I had a few gratitude ‘runs’ though sometimes was side tracked by the ‘vistas’ en route to Bondi. My favourite locale is a little spot above a local beach first thing in the morning where nobody goes and the ocean just stretches out forever. The only distraction is the odd large Aussie ant crawling scarily close to my shorts.
- When you notice yourself drifting off thinking about whether you needed that cronut or not – just observe it (don’t freak out and tell yourself off) and bring your mind back to your gratitude.
- I get it. Some days are completely rubbish & you really don’t feel like it. Or you have those well meaning folk who tell you how you should be grateful for something that in that very moment you are not feeling so grateful for – perhaps a screaming child or a horrific flu that is ‘just telling you to slow down’. Hmph. Perhaps on that day you just focus on very simple things that are good – like the sun, a fresh towel or one nice thing someone said to you.
I can 100% say that incorporating this 10 mins of daily gratitude has had a huge impact on how I deal with the everyday especially those days when I’m a bit flat or running low on the happy tank. I can tell you that because at the start of this year it slid out of the habit pattern (oops) and I really noticed the difference. I’m pledging to do another 90 days it felt so good. Thanks old mate Tony!
Try it for 7 days and let me know how you go.