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Live Happier Tip: Gratitude–Name Your 5 Things

I have to admit after last week and the barrage of negative voices–gratitude has been my theme for the weekend.  So I decided to include gratitude as my Live Happier tip for this week.  Gratitude is such a wonderful thing and something, unfortunately, easy to overlook. We are quick to name what we need, what’s missing, what’s wrong. Rarely do we name or concentrate on what we are grateful for.

So this week’s Live Happier Tip is: End your day saying the five things you are grateful that happened that day.  I am a big fan of rituals, and this is one I added to my nightly routine a few years ago.  So before you fall asleep–think back on your day and rather than naming all the things you didn’t get done or all the people that annoyed you or all the things you have to do tomorrow–list the 5 things for which you are most grateful.  Some days it will be as simple you are grateful the day is over or you are grateful you are lying in your bed.  Other days it will be more powerful you are grateful your teenage daughter gave you a hug first thing this morning, you are grateful your husband made dinner, you are grateful you were able to finish a really good book.

When I first started, my list was pretty basic; I was grateful for breathing, a good meal, a good conversation.  At times, I admit, it was difficult to come up with 5 especially as I started doing it nightly.  Gradually, rather than just reflecting back on the day, I started paying attention and noticing in the moment (ah awareness!!!)  experiences/conversations/people for which I was grateful.   Then I would make a mental note to add that event to my top five list.  Now my list is frequently longer than five so I get to spend my time remembering the 10 things I am grateful for and me being the organizer that I am (and a bit of an insomniac) I can narrow it down to my top 5.

So this tip has an extra bonus because it will help insomnia!  I use to struggle a lot with insomnia–shutting off my brain /my to-do list–but I admit since adding this ritual sleep has gotten a lot easier.  I end my day feeling grateful, and my to-do list takes second fiddle to the joy I am feeling–what a way to go to sleep!!  This tip has helped me Live Happier.

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