Coaching isn’t all about achieving happiness, but it certainly is almost always focused on the pursuit of what the client believes will make him happy. You may have heard already that the happiest people are happy because they are grateful rather than grateful because they are happy. It is not a chicken/egg proposition. It is in the research – The Happiness Advantage, The How of Happiness. Consciously choosing to constantly scan the environment for what you are grateful for, and keeping lists of the same, changes the brain and literally makes you happier. So if want to be happier, there is one super simple easy thing you can do right now. Today: this minute. Be more grateful. Not just once a year on Thanksgiving, not just when you get a promotion or good news. All the time. But how you might ask: how do I be more grateful? Well, David Steindl-Rast explains it perfectly in his TED talk – you can take 14 minutes and watch it or you go with my Cliff Notes. Here they are:
Stop. Look. Listen.
Stop. Look. Listen.
Notice what is going on that you are grateful for – the sun, the rain, running water, indoor plumbing, shoes that fit, electricity, your adorable dog/cat/child, your funny colleague, your car started! Your new desk chair you had to lobby five years to get. Functioning internet. So much. An endless list.
When? As often as possible. Here are some ideas to get into the habit:
- Any time you start obsessing about your To Do list, stop and think of things you are grateful for instead.
- Anytime you start second guessing what you should have said in your last meeting, stop and…
- Set a timer on your phone to do it every 15 minutes.
- Every time an email/text/tweet comes in.
- Every time you hear a beep of any kind (I do this; you would be amazed how much beeping goes on. It makes it much easier not to be annoyed at the sound of trucks backing up!).
- When waiting at a stop light.
- When brushing your teeth (Oh the possibilities, unlimited clean water, hot water! toothpaste, dental care!).
- Every time you sit down at your desk.
- Every time you get up from your desk.
- When you get into bed.
Other ideas? Try it, and see what happens.