Daily Positive Thoughts: THE One-Minute Solution to Being Happy? [30DHC]
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Can positive thinking become a learned habit?
We all want to be happier and live a more rewarding life.
But sometimes it's hard to remember the important things in life when we're faced with the day-to-day grind of everyday existence.
Moreover, you won't have positive thoughts when you're frustrated about setbacks and obstacles.
For the fourth month (April 2013) of the 30 Day Habit Challenge (30DHC), my goal was to develop the habit of thinking daily positive thoughts.
Here’s how it went.
30DHC for April 2013 – Think Daily Positive Thoughts
Here’s an overview of my attempt to become more positive.
#1 – Reason Why
I'll admit that I've always looked down on those articles/blogs that talk about being “more positive.” To me, this always seemed like a new-age concept that doesn't work in a real-world setting. Too much “woo woo” and not enough actionable items. But as I add more “things to do” in my life, I found myself becoming less and less happy with the little things.
What's funny is I think I have a pretty sweet life – I work from home, travel to fun places, have a wonderful girlfriend, a great family, and enjoy a variety of fun activities.
Unfortunately, I seem to forget these things when something goes wrong in my day. Instead of remembering what I love about life, I'll dwell on the negative stuff.
So my goal for this 30 Day Habit Challenge is to get into a routine where I'm reminded of the positive things in life.
#2 – Description
For April's 30DHC, I set a simple goal to think for one-minute about what's making me happy at THAT very moment.
I realize this a pretty intangible thing to measure. So I had to get creative and think of a creative way to track this habit.
This is what I did:
- Download the Mind Jogger app from iTunes
- Set a reminder to go off randomly between 9 am and 8 pm
- Read the reminder that says “What Are You Thankful For?”
- Think for one-minute about the one thing that I'm truly thankful for at that moment
It's a very simple enough exercise, but oddly enough it has become my favorite habit I've developed this year.
#3 – Obstacles
This was another habit that was easy to develop. Even when I wasn't near my phone when the reminder went off, it would be there waiting for me when I checked my messages. Then all I had to do was think about a single positive thought.
What made this habit easy to develop was it piggybacked on an existing habit. I already use my iPhone for email, Internet and productivity. So this message would always be in front of me. All I needed to do was commit to thinking about what made me happy at that moment.
#4 – Results
This daily positive thought habit had a VERY significant impact on April 15th, 2013. That was the day I ran and completed the Boston Marathon. It was also the same day that two knuckleheads decided to terrorize the innocent residents and spectators of an amazing city.
I was already back in my hotel room when the whole thing happened. But I'll be honest when I say I was scared s**tless about the attack. So my girlfriend and I decided to leave Boston before something worse happened. During the drive home, the daily reminder went off.
So instead of being thankful about some mundane event, I suddenly realized how precious life really is.
Because of this habit, I will never, ever take life for granted again.
#5 – Verdict
I love this new habit, but it can be improved.
Rather than focus on the selfish stuff, I think it's more important to become more positive to others.
Now I have a second reminder that says: “What have you done to help others today?”
I think this is a great reminder because it's also really easy to forget about helping others during your day. So I'm looking forward to tweaking this habit to help me become a better person.
How to Think Daily Positive Thoughts
Thinking daily positive thoughts can be a struggle for many people – especially when things aren't going right. The good news is you can improve the quality of your life with a simple one-minute reminder.
To recap, here's how to start thinking more positively:
- Download the Mind Jogger app from iTunes
- Set a reminder to go off at random time in the day (set it for your “waking hours”)
- Write a reminder that says “What Are You Thankful For?”
- Take one-minute to think about what you're thankful for at that moment.
Sure, this is a simple exercise – but you'd be surprised at how much happier you'll feel with a subtle daily reminder.
Want to find more ways to be happy? Why not check out some great books on happiness