Happy parents raise happy kids

Make a list: Things I am Happy about

EyeGratitude is an excellent cure for taking life for granted. On the quest for happiness, appreciating what we have is a great way to shift from feeling sad, bad or frustrated.

In the Make a List series, I have written about the importance of knowing myself and presenting my identity to the rest of the world. I have written about the importance of friends in our life and how they have contributed to who we are today. I have written about why it is important to have long-term goals and desires and to plant self-fulfilling prophecies in our mind. Today, I want to tell you why appreciation and gratitude are important skills that we need to practice-every day (yes, every day)!

Gratitude is another name for "positive focus". Everything that happens to us or does not happen to us has its advantages and disadvantages. The question is which side we choose to notice. Our focus determines how we experience life.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity… It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow

- Melodie Beattie

One of my clients, Lina, experienced depression and panic attacks related to OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). For 2-3 days at a time, she would experience a panic attack that overwhelmed her whole life. As we worked out the way to handle the situation, Line agreed with her doctor to come and see the doctor at the first sign of panic. Later, she came to me for a coaching session and talked about it again as the end of the world, looking even more depressed.

"How often does it happen?" I asked Lina.

She stopped, thought about it and said, "Every 2-3 months".

"How long does it last?" I asked her.

She stopped, thought about it and said, "2 days, 3 at most".

"Is it the same for 3 days?" I asked. Line stopped, thought about it and said, "No, the first day is the worst, but if I go to see my doctor, I feel much better afterwards. Only if it happens on the weekend and I see her the day after, then it drags for 3 days".

"OK, so in the last year, how many days have you had these panic attacks?" I asked.

She thought about it and said, "It's happened to me 5 times last year".

"5 times for a total of how many days?" I asked her.

She thought about it for a while and said, "About 8 days, maybe 10".

"So you're telling me that for 10 days every year, you can't function and you feel so sick you must see your doctor, right? OK. What happens in the other 355 days?"

CameraYou see, Lina was feeling so bad on those 10 days she did not paid attention to the other 355 days, in which she had a great time at work, pride in her kids, new and exciting relationships, exhilarating travel and joy with her extended family. Lina needed to focus on the things she was happy about.

In order to do that, I asked her to write 100 things she was happy about and she never looked back!

Gratitude is a constant reminder that even if we do not get everything we want, most of our life is worth celebrating. Gratitude is an excellent way to shift our focus from the bad to the good in life. Unfortunately, many people develop the appreciation only after some sort of trauma - death, loss, accident, etc.

Do not wait for a trauma. Make your gratitude list today and live happily ever after.

The song Affirmation by Savage Garden says it in a beautiful way:

I believe the sun should never set upon an argument
I believe we place our happiness in other people's hands
I believe that junk food tastes so good because it's bad for you
I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self esteem
I believe I'm loved when I'm completely by myself alone

I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can't appreciate real love until you've been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don't know what you've got until you say goodbye

I believe you can't control or choose your sexuality
I believe that trust is more important than monogamy
I believe your most attractive features are your heart and soul
I believe that family is worth more than money or gold

I believe the struggle for financial freedom is unfair
I believe the only ones who disagree are millionaires
I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can't appreciate real love until you've been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don't know what you've got until you say goodbye

I believe forgiveness is the key to your unhappiness
I believe that wedded bliss negates the need to be undressed
I believe that God does not endorse TV evangelists
I believe in love surviving death into eternity

How to list "100 things I am happy about"

  • Print the list from the Be Happy in life site (it is free and makes life much easier)
  • Kids in a playgroundGo over your daily routine and imagine how life would be without having your vital organs - eyes, ears, legs, etc. I promise you can find over 100 things you can be grateful for.
  • Whenever you meet a sick person, be happy you are healthy!
  • Write a list of things in your past you are happy about. I am very happy I met Gal. I am very happy we travelled the world together.
  • Add to the list the things you are like about your partner. I am very happy Gal is my boyfriend. I am very happy he is the father of my kids.
  • Add the things you are happy about regarding your kids. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you should have more than 100 things already in this category alone.
  • Add to the list things you are happy about regarding your extended family: parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents and other family members. One of my cousins was my best friends for many years. A family fight destroyed our relationship (it was ugly and had nothing to do with either of us) and we did not see each other for over 20 years, but she is still on my list. I am grateful for having had her as a best friend for 16 years. I am grateful for the sleepovers, for the trips and for the family gatherings we spent together. Six years ago, I contacted her again and last year, I went to visit her. Thanks to my list, I only had the good memories and the love we had for each other on my mind and it was awesome.
  • List your gratitude for people you have met during your life.
  • Write your gratitude for your talents and abilities.
  • Think of gratitude you have for some of your decisions in life - the things you chose to do, as well as the choices not to do things that would have ended badly.
  • List possessions you have that you are happy about. Since we moved around the world for several years, we rented our homes and every time we left, we had problems with the owner or the property manager over hanging the kids' drawings on the walls or leaving marks and scratches. I hated it. Today, every time we hang something on the wall, I express my gratitude for having my own place and making as many holes in the walls as I like.
  • WindowsAdd to the list your gratitude for the great lessons in your life. It is amazing how bad things in our life teach us so much and we can be grateful for the lesson and the teacher. Examine even bad experiences and look for lessons. Be grateful for the lessons for they are great stepping-stones on your life journey.

Remember that gratitude and appreciation are ways to shift your focus on to the good things in life. It is not a coincidence people say grace for food and, in some traditions, give thanks for everything they have in their life. The theory behind it is the more grateful you are for something, the more you have of it.

Join me next week for the 6th part of the list making series about good memories from your childhood.

I am happy you have read this post. Thank you for visiting my blog,
Ronit

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  • http://www.edataindia.com Edataindia

    Great Post
    In fact, what I observed in daily life,
    People with high E.Q are happier, healthier and more successful in their relationships. There people strike a balance between emotion and reason, and aware of their own feelings, show compassion for others is have high self-esteem. Researches have concluded high E.Q can lead to increased productivity, enhanced leadership skills and greater creativity in a person. It can also create an enthusiastic work environment, reduce stress levels and resolve emotional issues, improve the well being of employees and improve relationships all around.

  • http://www.ronitbaras.com/index.php/about/ Ronit Baras

    Edatanindia,

    I agree with you!
    EQ was found to contribute greatly to people's success, relationships and wellbeing.

    Using EQ methods, I managed to prove with my "Garden of Eden" program that it is possible to take "regular" kids and turn them into gifted kids. Why? Because academic achievements are just a side effect! EQ is much more meaningful than IQ in Education.

    I am very happy that EQ reached the world of business and workplace - I hope it will be more available in schools.

    Thanks for sharing.
    I am glad you liked the post.

    Be Happy
    Ronit
    Family Matters

  • http://www.dataoutsourcingindia.com Data Outsourcing India

    I'm totally agreed with your line "EQ was found to contribute greatly to people's success, relationships and wellbeing."

    High EQ helps to maintain your personal life and business life both perfectly!!

    Cheers :)

  • http://www.ronitbaras.com/index.php/about/ Ronit Baras

    Hi Data Outsourcing India,

    I hope with my writing find many people that agree about the contribution of EQ on people's personal life ( and business life).

    I am glad you are one of them.
    Thanks for joining the EQ family

    Happy day
    Ronit
    The Motivational Speaker

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  • http://www.e-datapro.net/ robertsondvs

    think it comes from living a simpler life, but things such as a pretty sky, or a flower, or a tree blowing gracefully in the wind, can cheer me up s...

  • http://www.behappyinlife.com Ronit Baras

    Robertsondvs,

    I am not sure I know what simpler life is.
    life is only what we perceive it is.

    I think my understanding that my happiness is made out of many tiny small things like a sunny day, smell of baking and my kids giggling changed my perspective.

    Happiness is a choice

    Happy day
    Ronit
    The Motivational Speaker

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