Monday, 16 October 2017

Improve Everything - Add a New (Simple) Daily Ritual

It is day one of a new working week.

If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, your day is coming to an end whereas for others, it is in the process of starting.

Chances are, you are one of many who look at Monday with a degree of dread. Monday represents a return to the daily commute. It may be your battle with traffic, or just staying dry and warm in the hopelessly inadequate cover provided at the bus stop. Maybe you are a member of the “eyes down” flock heading for the train platform to be confronted by already fully carriages.

Of course, you may be one of those who are excited and hopeful for the working day that lies ahead and the prospect of a week of satisfaction and fulfilment.

You may even have conflicting emotions. There may be a degree of concern about a family matter, a child who is unwell while at the same time being excited about the performance review taking place today to be followed by a pay rise, stock bonus or both.

No matter what your state of mind, the start of the week represents an effortless glide back to the regularity of a daily routine, and the comfort that comes with it.

I encourage you to make an addition to you daily routine.

The action I encourage can be performed physically using your preferred list making method (paper, tablet, phone etc) or may be performed mentally, in your mind only.

There is a scientific basis for what I am encouraging you to do. The benefits are listed as including:

  • Expansion of relationships
  • Improved Physical health
  • Improved psychological health
  • Enhanced empathy
  • Reduced aggression
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Increased mental strength

A rather compelling and valuable list I am sure you would agree.

The benefits listed can be obtained by the simple habit of practicing “Gratitude”.

Make a list, physically, virtually or mentally of all the things you are grateful for.

We find it easy to list the things that annoy, peeve or upset us; we do this well, because we are well practiced at doing so. 

Adding the practice of gratitude to our daily routine provides balance and allows the positives in our world to be closer to our conscious minds.

Let me give some simple examples:

I know my daily commute will include being stuck in traffic. Equally, I know there is nothing I can do. I am grateful for the chance to listen again to the new CD I bought, or to listen to the next in the series of podcasts I was introduced to a few days ago.
I am frustrated at the repetitive nature of the work I do; however, I am grateful for the supportive people I work with and grateful for the lunch break where a few of us sit and shoot the breeze.

These are two really simple examples. It can be anything and everything.

I recall a conversation recently where a friend was complaining about how annoying his ageing Father was becoming. I suggested he be grateful, adding I would do much to be annoyed just one more time by my Father. It stopped him in his tracks and he eventually said he had never thought about it like that before.

Practice Gratefulness, daily to be even Greater, in every way. 

For more information, go to Psychology Today and/or Happier Human. 

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