Brushing your teeth only takes a couple minutes, and so does increasing your happiness. Here’s a super easy way to train yourself to look on the bright side.
Photo by Jakob Renpening.
Being happier is often as simple as finding appreciation for the little things in your life. To make gratitude a more regular thing in your life, happiness researcher Shawn Achor, from GoodThink and the author of The Happiness Advantage, recommends this simple exercise:
Try to think of three new things you’re happy about while brushing your teeth at night.
The key is to make sure the three things you come up with are actually new. Be specific, don’t ever repeat items, and try not to default to some lazy variation of “family, friends, and health.” Over time, you brain will start to make mental notes of things you can include on your list throughout the day. This makes you appreciate things more in the moment as well as later on when you reflect.
Achor experimented with this simple exercise on a group of people that tested as “mild pessimists” for 21 days. By the end of the study, the same group of people ended up testing as “mild optimists.” Sometimes being happier really is a matter of finding the silver lining, but you have to train yourself to look for it if you don’t do it naturally.
The Weirdly Easy Way to Make Yourself More Optimistic [Mental Floss]