Do the shake N vac and put the freshness back
Yesterday I wrote about your mind being like a room that you want to be clean and tidy so you feel good. Today we are going to start the work to make your mind a happier place. Like shake ‘n’ vac, we are going to put some freshness back! (If you are under 40 you might want to think of Febreeze instead because shake ‘n’ vac was an eighties advert but still watch the video as the tune is rather catchy).
Freshen up your mind!
Let’s continue to think of your mind as a room that we want to look nice so you want to spend time in because it’s a nice place to be. First of all it needs to be clean. A lot of the cleaning up will come from the work we have been doing with mind chatter and we are not done with that yet so please continue to catch that and write it in your notebook. But as important as getting the negative out of your mind is the putting positive in. The good news is there are so many way to put positives in but today we are going to look at gratitude.
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Is gratitude a load of codswallap?
Gratitude has been found by to be an integral part of health, wholeness and wellbeing by Robert Emmons, Professor of Psychology, University of California
Gratitude increases positive emotions and keeps them. This was proved in a study where groups wrote about:
- things they were grateful for
- daily irritations or things that had displeased them
- events that had affected them
After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives.
The fact is that life isn’t always kind or nice but by having grateful thoughts and other techniques, it helps us believe and feel that the world is a good place and want to be part of it.
Get your gratitude right
This isn’t new. Just as mindfulness isn’t new. But I still get lots of clients who find it hard to write a gratitude list or to practice mindfulness on their own. Some people get caught in a material trap of writing: house, job, car. True gratitude that feeds the soul and increases our satisfaction levels and happiness is about values, qualities and so on, not so much about material goods. Yes we are in 2016 in one of the richest countries in the world and material goods are part of our life, but they are not true factors of intrinsic happiness for most people.
Why specifically are you grateful for that?
You can be grateful for anything. It’s not so much about being grateful for what you have but ‘noticing’ the things you are grateful for. Say you said you were grateful for ‘eyesight’. What is it about that makes you so grateful. Is it that you can read, see the colours of flowers, watch your children play. By appreciating the things we take for granted and the small stuff, we feel increased awareness of positive things in our lives.
When you become unwell. You feel more grateful for when you were well. More grateful for being able to breathe through your nose, walk on that foot (and in some cases wear a shoe), to not have to run for the toilet! You get my drift. By practicing gratitude before you are ill you can be grateful for your legs that carry you where you need to get to, those arms that help you feed your loved ones, that mind which is creative and produces amazing things.
I’m grateful that you read my post! Tomorrow I will be giving you some more ideas on gratitude and we will come up with an amazing gratitude list for you!
Here’s the plan:
- Continue to catch your negative mind chatter – are you noticing a key theme or time it occurs yet?
- Continue to acknowledge that when a thought comes in, it may not be true 🙂
- Become a mind COP. Catch it, own it, protect yourself.
- Do the shake and vac and put the freshness back by starting a gratitude list
Happy hug 🙂