Life can sometimes feel like an unending series of challenges. During such times it can be hard to stay positive. Moments of joy are fleeting and far between. If you can relate to this scenario, we have something that will help you experience joy as a way of life.
It's called the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge.
Mindfulness is all about physiology- doing whatever it takes to focus on the present moment, into your body, and out of your restless mind. Research shows that mindfulness has multiple benefits to our health and brain.
For the next 30 days, engage in 10-15 minutes of gratitude each morning. You can either write in your gratitude notebook or recite in your mind what you're grateful for. Gratitude helps you get into the right headspace for whatever the day brings. Our brains can't be in a state of appreciation and fear simultaneously, so being thankful helps you stay calm.
Showing kindness to others feels good because it triggers the release of dopamine in the brain. It helps us take the attention off of our problems and creates a feeling of interconnectedness. How about doing something kind every day? It could be something as small as smiling to everyone you see or a big as donating to a charity organization.
Human beings are naturally inclined to complain. Breaking this ingrained habit sounds impossible. However, making this shift has positive effects on your mental state. Whenever you encounter something that makes you unhappy, use the urge to complain as a springboard to focus on a solution rather than the problem.
Life's demands rarely leave us with the feeling that it's okay to relax. However, we're more productive when feeling positive and optimistic. On days when you are feeling low, take a break, and tend to your well-being first.
If you're a serious person, try including more laughter in your life. Look for ways to laugh by yourself or with others a few times a day- watch a comedy, read some jokes, or hang out with friends.
You will not be happy all of the time- it's impractical. Life is full of ups and downs. However, you now have the tools to recognize your blessings in low times and to return to joy more quickly and with more grace.
We've created this unique five-day Joy Challenge for our readers. It's a perfect way to ease into the 30 Day Challenge. Each day, focus on a different aspect of the Joy Plan, with practices to help us shift our mental habits and experience more joy.
Monday. Practice mindfulness—focus on the present moment and away from stressful thoughts.
Tuesday. Gratitude—appreciate what you have as often as you can, and watch how negativity disappears.
Wednesday. Kindness—being kind to others increases dopamine in the brain, for both the giver and receiver.
Thursday. No Complaining—turn your attention to solutions instead of problems.
Friday. Laughter is the best medicine because it floods your brain and body with mood-boosting serotonin.
The Sole Toscana Beauty Team