Sunday, October 18, 2009

Feel Happier in 10 Minutes or Less

By Julie Marie Rahm

Having a tough day? Remember the notepad in your "tool belt"? It is time to break it out and begin writing. The best recipe for feeling better almost instantly is listing everything you can think of for which you are grateful. Pause every day for two weeks, eight times a day and write ten things for which you are grateful. After two weeks, throttle back to four times each day for the next two months! Be specific and think of as many new things as you can each day.

After being grateful for 80 specific things a day for three days your list will get very interesting. It may read something like this. I am grateful for being alive another day; for clean sheets; for a soft bed; for two legs to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom; for clean, hot water; for a clean shower; for clean, soft towels; for a clean toothbrush and toothpaste; for being able to brush my own teeth; for a choice of breakfast food; for ant-free food; for green grass; for breezes to cool the temperatures.

At some point you run out of your own things and become grateful for things on behalf of other people. Your focus moves from yourself and your family to others. You may be grateful for the new home your best friend just purchased, or the business success your brother has had, or the health of your neighbor's new baby.

When you run out of other peoples' things, the real magic begins. You start to think of what you will have and what other people will have. Your list starts to read something like this. I am grateful for the quick recovery from surgery my brother will have; and for the sales my friend in real estate will make this month; and for the dream home our friends will buy.

Build thankfulness into your life and see your world change. Pay attention to people for whom everything seems easy. Good things seem to continuously flow their way. Being thankful for all things is their secret. Whatever happens they are continually happy with their lives.

I have personally made this gratitude exercise a part of my life. It has been a magical journey! And, I feel great every day.

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