Mindfulness exercises to help you feel happier

Mindfulness exercises to help you feel happier

In this article happiness and mindfulness coach, Palma Michel, shares her life hacks to feel happier and to live mindfully. Palma is the Co-Founder of Profuse29, a company that introduces mindfulness and mindful leadership to companies like London School of Economics and The Soho House Group, and now you! Over to Palma...

In many ways, happiness is a choice. We create our world largely by where we choose to place our attention. Unfortunately, our mind has a natural tendency to focus on the negative as evolution has no interest in our happiness.  You may have experienced this in the past when nine out of ten things on a given day went fine, but you had one difficult meeting. In that case, our mind tends to focus on the negative event rather than all the things that are going well for us. Our minds are also quite good at worst-case scenario thinking and maybe the following scenario sounds familiar. You are stuck in traffic and your mind immediately assumes you will miss your flight, be late for your meeting and lose your client. But how often have your worst case scenarios actually happened? Mine have never happened and even if they do, we largely underestimate our ability to deal with them.

The best thing about appreciating what you have is that you will attract more of what you want.

We can counter-balance the negativity bias of our minds by focusing on the positive. I don´t mean just thinking positive as that is usually not very helpful when we are feeling blue. Spend some time each day to appreciate all the things that are nice in your life. Chances are, as you are reading this, you are in a position of privilege and already living in a treasure chest of happiness without acknowledging it. So no matter how much you think your life might suck right now, there is more right with it than wrong. Don't get me wrong, I don’t mean "you should be happy as you have so much more than others”, as anything that comes in the form of “should” is a direct source of unhappiness. Just make an active choice to focus on, and think about, all that is positive in your life and to appreciate it. The best thing about appreciating what you have is you will attract more of what you want, and will find many more things and moments in your daily life that make you smile.

Appreciation exercise

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Each morning, upon waking, think of three to five things that you appreciate in the day ahead. These can be small things like a warm and cosy bed, your matcha latte/morning coffee or bigger things like a promotion, a hot date, having a healthy child and so on. Include small things as well as bigger things and change them every day. Repeat this every morning for a month and see what happens.

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