Dear Friend, we' crafted a 5-day #JoyChallenge to help you and us experience lasting joy. Every day for the next four days, you'll do a new challenge.
It's a perfect way to ease into the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge that we created to help you experience joy in your everyday life.
Appreciate what you have as often as you can, and watch how negativity disappears.
Wellness professionals claim that having a regular gratitude practice can increase happiness, but is this true? It seems obvious that if you shift your focus from your problems to what you're grateful for, you'll realize that your concerns aren't as bad as they seem.
Gratitude works because of the effect it has on our brains.
The brain interprets thoughts and words of gratitude as optimism, that is, regular positive thoughts and reactions to life's hurdles. Optimism lowers the levels of cortisol (stress hormone) and calms the amygdala, the part of the brain that responds to stress.
When you start your Joy Plan, it's likely that your default thoughts will be those of worry or fear. Switching to thoughts of appreciation and enthusiasm won't happen overnight. However, with practice, it will become a new habit.
Repeating these thoughts frequently helps the brain to form new neural pathways. Your brain will use these pathways habitually because they are now familiar. You're more likely to think positively rather than negatively.
Take a notebook or a piece of paper and set aside five to fifteen minutes to list the things and people that you are grateful for. Use whatever form you're comfortable with- lists, paragraphs, or sketches. Do what comes naturally to you.
Don't worry about sounding perfect- there are no right or wrong entries. You'll find that this exercise makes you feel good. That's because thoughts of gratitude release dopamine, the pleasure-inducing hormone.
Since we want to make joy a part of our everyday experiences, try incorporating a gratitude practice into your daily routine. We recommend starting your morning with writing in your gratitude notebook. Doing this helps start your day with a positive focus. For those mornings when you don't have time to write things down, making a mental list is just as effective as a written one.
No matter how challenging life gets, gratitude is always an option. A positive shift in perspective can sometimes change everything. Some days will be harder than others, but don't give up being grateful. And thankfulness is a powerful antidote for fear.
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