My alarm clock didn't go off. Someone had already used up all the hot water before I could take my shower. We'd run out of coffee (gasp!). And to top it all off... my "fat pants" were feeling a bit snug-aaaaaauuuuggghhhhhh! This was shaping up to be a miserable morning. I heard my phone chime and my heart skipped a beat. Had I gotten my times mixed-was I late for work? I snatched my phone off the table and saw the text:
"I just wanted you remind you how amazing you are and how grateful I am that you're in my life."
My eyes got teary and my heart swelled. My sister, a busy physician three time zones away, had taken 30 seconds out of her busy schedule and had changed the course of my entire day.
Studies have shown that one way of increasing your happiness setpoint is to practice being grateful. Studies vary slightly in their findings, but in a nutshell, writing down three things daily will raise your level of happiness more than writing down a list of items your grateful for weekly. Sharing your gratitude or appreciation with another person boosts your happiness level even more.
And get this! In one study, people who focused on gratitude rather than hassles felt more optimistic about their future, felt better about their lives and even did an average of 1.5 more hours of exercise a week. (So I can be happier and shed the fat pants!)
In this fast-paced, high-tech world, it may seem unrealistic to try to squeeze in one more task on your to-do list. Instead of switching from high-tech to high-touch, you can be high-tech AND high-touch! Take 30 seconds to practice "Grati-text." Think of someone who has made a real difference in your life, and shoot them a text telling them so.
Being happier has lots of benefits that go beyond just feeling better. You can be healthier, more creative, more productive, and people may find you more attractive! (Really!) So here are five more ways to practice High-Tech/High-Touch methods of gratitude so that you'll be happier and healthier right away.
Here are 7 quick High-Tech AND Hi-Touch ways to express your gratitude:
1. Express your gratitude in what I call a Grati-tweet (a tweet that expresses gratitude): 140 characters or less of your appreciation via Twitter.
2. Whip out your phone and send a Grati-text (A text message that expresses gratitude): Tell them how much you appreciate them and why.
3. Use the video function on your phone to record your thanks in less than 30 seconds. Then email, text it or post it on Facebook.
4. Record a video of gratitude and upload it to YouTube or Vimeo.
5. Send an e-card to someone that says "I appreciate you."
6. Leave a short voicemail for that special someone letting them know how special they are.
7. Create a playlist of songs that express your feelings of appreciation and upload on the recipient's iPod, phone, or other device.
Speaker, author, and neurohumorist Karyn Buxman, is committed to achieving global health through laughter and healing the humor impaired. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook for more tips on how humor and positive emotions can help you achieve success, significance and happiness. See her new video on www.KarynBuxman.com