“For every action in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction” ~ Newton’s Law of Motion
In this world there are opposites for everything. For light, you have dark. For Up there is Down. In and out, happy and sad, night and day, yin and yang. Newton’s law of motion applies to everything in our lives.
Recently we have been hearing a lot about the importance of gratitude. The science of positive psychology has found that gratitude can improve our happiness levels pretty dramatically.
The experts recommend that at the end of each day we write down 3 to 5 things we are grateful for; things that happened that day or just in general.
This gratitude practice helps ground us to the present, makes us realize the good things we DO have in our lives and keeps us focused on the positive rather than the negative.
While gratitude is very important, there is another opposite aspect to gratitude that we can add to our daily rituals that will increase our happiness even more.
What would the opposite of gratitude be you might ask? Ingratitude? Discontent with things that happened in your day?
No, I am not proposing you become miserly, selfish or ungrateful as a path to bliss.
We typically practice gratitude at the end of the day. We use the gratitude exercises at the end of the day as an evaluation of how the day went and a summary of what we currently have in our lives.
The additional practice I am suggesting takes place in the morning BEFORE your day has begun. I discovered this aspect one day as I was driving. I was on a small two-way street driving next to the lake. A car coming in the opposite direction passed by me. A dog sat in the front passenger seat with his head hanging out the window, ears flapping in the wind, a huge grin on his face.
There was joy and excitement coming from that dog in every way; from the way he eagerly put his head as far out as possible, to the open mouthed, tongue out, ears flapping, face he presented to every passerby.
He had no idea where they were going but he was excited and eager to be on an adventure.
Seeing that dog’s excitement and joy made me realize that we can pre-set our days. We can create joy in our day by ANTICIPATING a great day.
Why not practice gratitude in the morning?
Gratitude for what is to come.
Gratitude for the exciting adventures you WILL have.
Gratitude for everything you will experience that day.
Anticipation, dreaming, planning for fun, all set the way for your day to be great.
In years past there was a counseling theory that recommended the clients say to themselves every day, over and over, “Every day and in every way I am getting better and better.”
Repeating this simple phrase was as effective, if not more so, for improving a client’s outlook and life as being on medication.
What we believe we make happen in our lives.
If you think a thought enough times and agree to it, you make it a part of your life.
Why not set yourself up for a great day? A great week? A great life?
Set your gratitude in the morning and repeat to yourself, “Every day and in every way I am getting better and better.” And watch your life improve.
Practice Anticipational gratitude. ( I think I just made up a word there)
Like that dog, we do not know what our day has in store for us. We don’t know where we will end up at the end of the day but we can be excited and eager to be on our way.
Start your day with gratitude for what is yet to be and watch your life change for the better.
Let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear your stories and experiences.