The Key to Happiness: One Thing You Can Start Today

As a 35 year old woman, married for 10 years, mother of 3, I am definitely not claiming to know it all, or have all of life’s secrets! ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜‚ 

However, I do want to share with you something that I have learned over the last 7-8 years that has brought a lot of peace to my life and I know can help bring peace into yours as well. ๐Ÿง˜‍โ™€๏ธโœจ

Just like most moms, I have days that I want to throw in the towel, run away, and hide. ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ฎ‍๐Ÿ’จHowever, I have one SIMPLE habit that I am about to share with you in this blog that has truly changed my life in so many ways. โค

It honestly makes me want to cry thinking about how grateful I am to find more happiness in my life due to this one little thing. ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿฅฐ It’s so little you will probably laugh, but often times the smallest things add up to big changes! (Remember that!)

This is a habit that I wish I had cultivated earlier in my life, and it is something that I consciously try my hardest to instill into my children. It is going to sound so simple that you may initially brush it off and/or roll your eyes ๐Ÿ™„, but I promise you that if you DO it, your life will change for the better. ๐Ÿ‘โค๏ธ

It may start out as simple changes, but after years you will look back and wonder how you ever managed to get through life without it.

Ok, enough prefacing, ๐Ÿ˜‚ let’s get right to it…

The key to finding happiness in your day-to-day life mama… is in gratitude

Yep, you heard me right, being grateful!

Ta Da!! Haha ๐Ÿ˜‚ did you roll your eyes yet? ๐Ÿ™„ I sure know I did a big fat eye roll when people tried to tell me that. “Write down three things you are grateful for” the experts said… “Cool, how is that going to solve my problems” I thought. It sounded so dumb to me. So if you are thinking the same thing right now, please don’t leave. Know that you are not alone. However, if you are open to it, you can see it make a big difference in your life!


RESEARCH
Although we can see this for ourselves with practice, it is also neat to see that research from Harvard  ๐Ÿ”ฌ is showing that gratitude practices are having a positive impact on people’s happiness. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Other research is also proving that gratitude practices can have long lasting effects, ๐Ÿ˜ฎ even in people who report clinically low levels of mental health. So if you think this only works for people who are already happy, the science is now proving you wrong. ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿผ

This is such a simple tool that you can start today, no matter where you are in your health journey and have positive effects from it. It doesn’t cost you anything ๐Ÿ†“, it takes very little time, and everyone can do it! ๐Ÿ‘ This is a great tool not only for ourselves, but to also teach to our children.


THE PRACTICE
You see, when my kids were younger I was noticing that they were lacking gratitude for the things they had, and like most moms, I didn’t want them growing up to be little brats, so I implemented a gratitude practice into our nightly routine. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’ค

Every night at bedtime, we would all gather together and say out loud three things that we were grateful for that day. Most of the time my kids said the same three things night after night, ๐Ÿ™„ but we just kept doing it anyway! In fact, after getting home from our trip to Mrytle Beach in 2019, my middle kiddo said he was grateful for that trip every day for i‘m pretty sure the ENTIRE YEAR. ๐Ÿ˜‚

But regardless of what my kids were grateful for, or to be honest what I was grateful for… this habit taught me something. 

It taught me that every day, no matter how hard the day is, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for! โœจ

Were there days that I struggled and copped out with an “I’m grateful to be alive” or an “I’m grateful for my bed” ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿคท‍โ™€๏ธ or something trivial? Heck yes! Because in that moment those were the only things that I could think of after being so angry with how bad the day went. BUT, even with days of answers like that, what it did was SHIFT my mindset.

What I didn’t realize in the day-to-day while it was happening was that I was RE-programming my brain to always look for the good, searching for the things to be grateful for even in the worst moments. ๐Ÿ’ฅ THIS RIGHT HERE IS THE GOLDEN NUGGET.


NOTICING THE DIFFERENCE
Years after starting this habit, when my middle kiddo was diagnosed with Diabetes and Celiac disease in the same week ๐Ÿ˜ž was when it truly hit me how GRATEFUL I was to have this habit and how it has truly changed my life. ๐Ÿ™

If you haven’t heard about my son’s diagnosis story, you can read about that HERE. This was a life altering diagnosis. He now has a lifelong disease that requires him to be dependent on medication for the rest of his life to survive. That was a SUPER HARD pill to swallow (esp as a pretty crunchy mama).

But anyway… the reason I bring this up is that even though it was probably the worst news I have ever received in my life, I couldn’t help but keep finding the GOOD in it. The mini blessings. The things to be grateful for. โœจโค๏ธ

  • I was grateful for the community
  • I was grateful for the outpouring of love
  • I was grateful for the support of our friends and family
  • I was grateful for the medicine
  • I was grateful for the technology that makes management easier
  • I was grateful that he was ALIVE.
It was IN THIS MOMENT, I knew this ONE SIMPLE HABIT changed my life forever!

You see, although I shed a lot of tears ๐Ÿ˜ญ, I was able to function every day. I was able to show my kids strength ๐Ÿ’ช. I was able to encourage Andrew when he was frustrated with his dexcom or his insulin shots that yes, it may be frustrating, but thank God that we have them and thank God we have him! ๐Ÿ™

This ONE habit has changed the trajectory of my life and I know that if you are a mama struggling because you are in the trenches with multiple little ones…

๐Ÿƒ‍โ™€๏ธ running back and forth between sports practices
๐Ÿงบ trying to stay on top of the cleaning and laundry
๐Ÿง deciding if going back to work or staying home is best for you 
๐Ÿ“ฃ breaking up arguments
๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿผ cleaning spit up out of your hair
๐Ÿ˜ญ feeling drained because you haven’t slept in what feels like 3 years

if this is you… THIS ONE HABIT CAN HELP YOU.

And I know this because I WAS THERE. We are the same, and if it has changed my life, it can change yours too mama!


IN SUMMARY
Your gratitude practice isn’t going to instantly change your life . It isn’t going to give you more money, or fix your car, or magically take all of your troubles away, but IT WILL help you manage through the tough days ๐Ÿ’ช and pull you out of the worst situations enough to BREATHE, and reassess, and make the moves you need to in the moment. 

FIND THE GOOD.

When life gets tough… stop โœ‹, breathe ๐Ÿ˜ฎ‍๐Ÿ’จ, and think of the good โค๏ธ. What can you be grateful for in the situation? Right here, in this moment now, what can you be grateful for?

I bet you will surprise yourself and after some time it will become second nature!

I was out of town recently for a girls weekend and a friend of mine told me something that stuck with me. She was sharing some struggles that she was dealing with and after sympathizing with her, I offered her an alternative view point, that maybe this situation could turn out to be something good, something pleasantly unexpected and she turned to me and said something along the lines of… “wow I just love your positivity” (or something of the sorts) and it actually caught me off guard because If you would have asked me years ago if I was an optimist or a pessimist I would have definitely answered that I was a pessimist. I always seemed to find the bad, was always complaining about something, blah blah blah. But if you asked me now, I know that I am an optimist. It is just second nature now to look for the good in everything.

This ONE HABIT has blessed me with more happiness. I am still learning and it takes effort on the daily, but each day it gets easier and easier.

So if you are struggling, please try a gratitude practice. Whether it’s writing it down, saying it out loud with your family at bed time, or thinking it in your head. Just start re-wiring your brain today!


>> I would love to hear in the comments, how a gratitude practice has changed your life โค๏ธ๐Ÿ‘‡


I hope this blesses you mama โค๏ธ and I hope it blesses your family because let’s be real, we all know a happy mama means a happy home. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Until next time,


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DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any information provided to you on this site is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. I am not in any way diagnosing, treating, prescribing, or claiming to cure anything. Any and all medical ailments/treatment plans should always be consulted with your physician. This information is my own personal experiences and personal research. You should always do your own research and decide with your physician what is best for you. 

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2 Comments

  1. Amanda, I have tried the gratitude habit. However, I am not as disciplined as you are. That is going to be my goal. Every day at a more specific time. I do agree with you and you are an example of what you do! Probably the most positive person I know! Have fun with your camping adventures! ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿค๐Ÿฆ‹โค๏ธโค๏ธ๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿฉ
    Amanda DeWald AUTHOR  05/15/2023 02:38 PM Central
    Thank you for those kind words Lois โค๏ธ If being disciplined is a hurdle, I would encourage you to make it even simpler! It doesn't have to be a specific time of day or a certain number of things to be grateful for. Maybe as you sip on your morning coffee make it a habit that as you pour your coffee you say in your head "I am grateful for this coffee right now" or as you fill your car with gas " I am grateful for this gas that gets me to where I need to go". Start super simple and just incorporate the gratitudes throughout your day. It doesn't have to be a full on ritual to be effective. You've got this!! โœจ๐Ÿ‘
  2. Yesterday was an all around bad day and I let it get the best of me. Sciatica is horrible with specific to my calf. As I was walking into P.T. I looked up at the sunshine, and blue ski and thought about how grateful I was, at least I can walk, some wish they could.
    I am grateful I read this and want to implement this into a daily routine. Thank you.
    Amanda DeWald AUTHOR  05/17/2023 07:16 AM Central
    I'm sorry to hear yesterday was tough Sue, but i'm so glad you were able to stop and find the beauty in the day. That's what it's all about. Taking the moment to find the happy ๐Ÿ˜Š Cheers to a better today!

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