Stop Chasing Happiness! The truth is you have a better chance finding happiness by taking out the garbage and making your bed than you do journaling about abundance!” Dr. Chris Lee
Try stacking your day with small wins instead!
Who here has heard the saying “When you change your thoughts, you can change your life”? That in order to improve your life, all you need to do is start thinking better feeling thoughts. I don’t know about you, but my thoughts can be pretty stubborn and sneaky. Those less-than-better-feeling thoughts keep sliding in when I’m least expecting them!
And then there’s journaling (which I love doing, by the way). Journaling what you want your future self to be like is believed to be able to help you bring that future self into existence. And it sort of does, to a point. Journaling is a fantastic way for you to explore different possible futures and create a vision of what you want your future life to be like. But is it enough even with putting the effort into creating those better feeling thoughts?
I’ve tried for several years to follow this advice and replace my sometimes rather negative feeling thoughts while journaling my vision of what I wanted my future life to be like. And I believed that it was just me that couldn’t get this advice to work. The more I tried to chase happiness by trying to figure out what would make me happy at some point in the future, the further away that happiness felt, until I finally realized that I needed to stop chasing happiness, and treasure the small moments of happiness that I was experiencing, in the moment!
Needless to say, it was refreshing to me to read studies that showed how even small actions, small moments of happiness, particularly ones that are aligned with our core values, can have a wonderful impact on our mood – and on our life.
It’s not that our thoughts aren’t important. Or that journaling isn’t magickal. It’s just that, on their own, these two techniques aren’t nearly as effective as they are when you add aligned actions to what you are doing.
For one thing, as humans, our brains have what’s referred to as a negativity bias – we are more likely to remember negative events. So trying to overpower this negativity bias with just positive thoughts often isn’t enough.
However, If you want to feel different, you need to start being different, physically as well as through thoughts and feelings.
Our biology is designed for us to move, but our stress mechanisms and negativity bias are designed for us to stop moving, to freeze.
And this is where stacking your day with small actions that involve small wins and small celebrations comes in.
We don’t want to add more stress to our day by adding big actions, like taking up jogging or kick boxing or weight training.
Start with small, easy actions, like making the bed (without complaining), or taking out the garbage (without complaining), or going for a stroll around the block or through your neighbourhood park. After each small action you take, celebrate it as a small win! Enjoy a chocolate chip or a few grapes (really enjoy them!), or listen to your favourite song, or take a whiff of your favourite perfume or fragrance,
These small actions, accompanied by small rewards, are far more powerful at changing our attitude and our mood than focusing on either changing our thoughts or journaling could ever be.
Not only will you soon begin finding your mood changing, you might also find your comfort zone expanding!
Now, go reward yourself for having read this!!