When at my conference for work last week, we had a speaker who studied happiness from a scientific angle. He also has a TED talk which you can see here. Yes, he was there to motivate us and for us to do more work and better work, but his talk really hit me for a different reason.
LD has been a little lost since Christmas. Since his mother died about 3 years ago, both his father and he have a hard time around the holidays. It is worse because they are not the best at communicating with each other. Over the course of the holidays, they seem to feed off each others energy and by the end of the holidays they are both in a really dark place. In LD’s case, he started questioning where he is in his life and what he wants. Everything became this negative thing. For about three weeks, everything I did wasn’t exactly what he wanted. Every activity we did didn’t live up to his expectations. He became very broody and would release his energy by becoming irritated with me. For the first couple of weeks, I was actually ok with this. I know that when he is irritated with me over little things and does the acting annoyed thing (rolling eyes, low grumbling…), he isn’t really upset with me. However, it does start to drag on you a bit when everything you do seems to be wrong.
So, I took a page out of Shawn Achor’s book. He has five activities you can do that only take a few minutes everyday and to do for 21 days:
1. Say or write down 3 specific things you are grateful for, without repeats
2. Write for 2 minutes about one specific positive thing that happened that day
3. Exercise for at least 10 minutes a day
4. Meditate for 2 minutes
5. Send a positive email everyday to a different person, telling them how they have impacted your life
For LD, just exercise wasn’t enough. He was exercising most days this month, but adding on the three gratitudes seemed to be just the ticket to turn his attitude around and pull him out of his funk. The first several days he looked at me like I was crazy when I would ask him for three things he was thankful for or positive things from his day. Some days he was even resistant. But, here we are a week later and he just walks up behind me when I’m cooking dinner or cuddles into bed with me and just says them. They are second nature now, and his attitude has changed.
He is making plans for the future, and I find myself started to figure out how much of a down payment we will need for a house in the quality we want. He is telling me dreams about where he wants to go with his career. Instead feeling lost on where he could go with his career, he is telling me about all the possible paths he could go down and how to get to any of the places he wants to go.
For me, as you can probably tell from my blog, I write about the positive things from my day. I don’t only see the positive. I can definitely see negatives. Most of my posts are actually about rising above the negatives. However, I try to incorporate the other activities in my life. I hope you do the same. Try them for the next 21 days. See where life can take you.
|These are two of my gratitudes|