A couple years ago, I decided to read every book on happiness available on the internet.
I had just recovered from quite an intense depressive episode and was determined not to let myself slip back into it.
A funny thing happens when you read a dozen or so books on the same topic…
You realise every author is literally saying all the same things with differentiated vocabulary.
One of those things that just kept on coming up was gratitude ❤️
And after hearing it from the Buddhists, the Harvard professors, Mo Gawdat and the rest of the happiness gurus, I could no longer ignore it!
So here’s how to be more grateful 😁
As much as I initially hated the idea of writing down “three things I was grateful for” every morning, it totally f*cking worked.
At the start, this felt ridiculous.
I opened the Notes app on my iPhone and started typing away:
“I guess I’m grateful to be travelling, to have a laptop, to have friends I can talk to…”
But after a week of doing this, I found myself in the shower, just in awe of life.
“I have arms! And legs!”
I was actually grateful for my arms and legs — I never would have even thought about that. But after just a week of deliberately noticing things to be grateful for, I started noticing them automatically.
And this changed my perception of reality. Life was still the same…but being more aware of the good things in my life, my experience of reality improved…increasing my happiness!
By first forcing yourself to find things to be grateful for, however mundane, you’ll soon start noticing them automatically…and you’ll come out a happier, more grateful person.
I now keep a bright yellow journal open at my desk on top of my laptop.
Before I start work in the morning, I open up the journal and write out all the things I’m grateful for.
To get started, there’s always food. Cookie dough ice cream. Then friends, family and relationships. Future plans you’re excited about. Warm showers.
Any the gratitude will start flowing from there ✌🏾
Tip 2 for extra gratitude and happiness is to spend more time in raw nature.
I’m lucky enough to live next to a giant lake (not that one^ unfortunately).
And just looking out onto it inspires an instant feeling of wonder, awe and gratitude.
The world is just so insanely beautiful. And if you can take an hour out from the office or your WFH cage to literally smell some flowers at Finsbury Park, or stare at deers in Richmond, you’ll certainly come away feeling more grateful than before.