Why you should toss your gratitude journal in the garbage

Here’s a quick tip that’ll help you make permanent changes to your happiness baseline.

Most coaches talk about the importance of having a morning ritual (i.e., wake up, jog, meditate, drink a green smoothie, etc.) and how gratitude journaling should be a part of that ritual.

This is where you’d spend a few minutes writing down all the things in your life you’re grateful for.

And this can be useful because the state of gratitude is a state of happiness and contentment. Since most people spend a big chunk of their day feeling a sense of lack, it’s important to train ourselves to start wanting what we already have.

But while there’s nothing bad about gratitude journaling, it’s not going to do much to permanently move the needle on your baseline emotional state.

When you’re stacking up hours of discomfort, fear, and negative thinking on one side of the seesaw, five minutes of positivity on the other side isn’t going to make much of a difference.

So go toss out that journal because there’s a much better way to use the power of gratitude to rewire your brain.

Once of the most successful exercises for permanent mood shifting was developed by Robert Holden, author of the book “Be Happy.”

He had participants put up little colored stickers all throughout their homes. Each sticker served as a reminder to take a ten second break from their day to think of something they’re grateful for, and bring up the feelings of gratitude.

After a month of doing so, nearly all of the participants reported major improvements in their levels of happiness and life satisfaction.

Seems almost too simple to be effective. But what made this work was sheer repetition.

Participants were consciously tapping into the state of gratitude dozens of times each day. So just imagine the effects this would have after 30 straight days.

Never discount the power of repetition when it comes to drilling stuff into your head. As one of my mentors famously likes to say, “The unconscious mind loves rhythm, repetition, repetition and rhyme.”

And if you don’t feel like defacing your home with dozens of ugly little stickers, you can get the same results by setting a timer on your phone that reminds you every 30min to shift your state.

Test it out and let me know how it goes. More coming tomorrow. Stay tuned…

-Jay

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