Recognizing the good.
I have been focusing specifically on the good things in my life on a daily basis for the past 7 years.
I started by reviewing my day each night before I fell asleep, and then I would note 5 things from my day for which I was thankful.
When I began, I do remember thinking that coming up with 5 good things each night was going to be next to impossible.
Within a week or so, I was easily doing 5 a night, and a month later my lists began growing- not every night, of course, but enough to make me feel very grateful for the things I was listing, and the fact that the process was only taking me a few minutes each night.
About five years ago, I began jotting down my greatful thoughts on paper. (Yes, I know I am spelling “greatful” wrong, but my spelling is a more accurate assessment of how I feel – greatful: filled with great things – each and every day. So very corny, but also very true.)
Two years ago, I found Jackie Kelm’s web page, Appreciative Living and reading her books, I changed my practice and began writing only 3 gratitudes each day – but I started spending a moment savoring each of those 3.
Kelm’s work added a new dimension to my practice.
I still recognize and often list way more than 3 gratitudes each day, but by savoring at least 3, the quality of my gratitudinal experience has increased dramatically.
(Lots more about Jackie, her wonderful work and my involvement with her, in future posts. Meanwhile you can check out my link to her book under Books That Enrich My Life.)
Now, I not only enjoy the good thing when it occurs – and, according to positive psychology research – receive a little life-enhancing dose of dopamine, I also get another dopamine experience when I relive the moment.
I am doubling-my-pleasure-doubling-my-fun.
I am getting two, two, greatful moments for the price of one! What a deal!
In addition, by becoming more aware and reliving the good things in my life on a regular basis, I have created a deep and constant flow of good feelings, which I can easily dip into, if need be on a not-so-good day.
I like that, and I hope you will, too.
Have a great weekend.