by Alyssa Banks, who helps produce "The Matt Townsend Show"
Gratitude seems to be the recurring topic of December each year. Here are some great ways to increase your gratitude and happiness on a daily basis:
1. After waking up in the mornings, whether on the way to work, during breakfast or while getting dressed, think of all the positive things that happened to you the day before. Let yourself get excited over the happy things you experienced.
2. Choose your favorite song, and listen to it on the way to work. Belt out the words, even if your kids are in the car. You may find that you’re a little more excited about the upcoming day. Music truly has a way of playing with emotions. Why not use that to your advantage?
3. Purposely smile during the day. Let yourself laugh. According to Psychology Today, a typical four-year-old laughs up to 300 times each day. Unfortunately, the average 40-year-old only reaches about four. These numbers are sad, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change them.
4. Compliment someone. Sometimes I find myself thinking a compliment without ever expressing it to someone. Boost someone’s confidence, and let them know what characteristics make them admirable.
5. Take a power nap. Many countries have designated nap times built into their days. Since we have nothing like that, we need to create it ourselves. 15 minutes is enough time to fall asleep, and wake up feeling refreshed to tackle the rest of your day successfully.
6. Do something you love. Get creative, and find time to include hobbies in your daily schedule. Make it more interesting, and invite a friend or family member to join you.
7. Make mini bucket lists. What do you want to do before the end of the month? Think of something you know you wouldn’t do if you hadn’t made it a goal, and be sure to keep that goal attainable.
8. Have 3 fun conversations throughout the day. This could mean having a fun chit-chat with someone in the office. It could also mean calling a friend you know who will make you smile or having a fun conversation with a child who cracks you up every time you talk.
9. Write in a journal about the fun memories you’re making. Make it a point to reread these when you’re feeling down.
Enjoy the moments that come and go, and determine to make a positive difference in your life!