Are you a glass-half-full or half-empty kinda person? How's that working for you?
Optimism or cultivating a positive mindset is one of two key attributes related to the sixth habit of Happiness, the other being Gratitude. Both are essential, associated with each other and are necessary entrainment for the mind that helps us to deal with life's ups and downs. Research has shown that cultivating optimism helps not only to improve the immune system but also increases longevity and is a critical factor in recovery from a severe illness. Gratitude grows in grateful people who are generally happier, less stressed and as a result navigate life more easily.
Let's look at how you can start to develop a positive mindset. I've talked about Gratitude and this relates to the past. Savouring, relates to the present (it’s being appreciative of the moment). The third is Hope, which sits in the future. When you develop these three aspects they combine to create a transformative and delightful recipe that helps to develop a positive mindset.
Gratitude, in his book Authentic Happiness, Martin Seligman carried out a Gratitude experiment, this included two practices; the first was to take a piece of paper and write down three things that went well and then why it went well.
The second practice was to write a letter to someone who had shown you kindness you hadn't recognised or appreciated. The letter would express Gratitude and thank them. In most cases, many participants continued using both as a daily practice.
Savouring the second quality, comes from the French word Saveur which means relish, zest, and appreciation and is linked to the pleasant life described in the previous newsletter. We rush around mindlessly, never stopping to savour anything…. the smell of a rose, the beauty of a peony in full bloom, the warmth of the sun or a gentle breeze across our skin.
In fact, this is grounded in the practice of mindfulness, complete immersion in the moment and stresses melt away. There is no looking backwards to old pain or to the future and projecting the pains of the past into our future expectations, instead we learn to appreciate what is right in front of us.
Hope, the third and last quality is cultivated by setting meaningful goals you can look forward to. Scientists have found a direct correlation between a lack of hope or despair and severe depression, and this is not hard to observe first-hand as our world spirals; fostering this kind of resilience has never been more critical. It reminds me of the guy who cuts homeless people’s hair with unconditional love and respect for their dignity which its truly humbling.
The resonance of kindness is mysterious; sometimes the tiniest action can trigger something much bigger. A small act of gratitude or kindness can change a person's life forever. If this has helped you to remember someone or a thing you've taken for granted, why not express your gratitude? You never know what might happen. Happiness is now, not yesterday or tomorrow.
Buy someone a coffee.
Write a letter or send a card of appreciation.
Give a small gift like a Therapie Life Mini bath oil.
A foot rub with Energy Drops.