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I Tried the Happiness Diet and I Got High On Life

practicing gratitude

I tried practicing gratitude every day for a week and became deliriously happy.

Practicing gratitude is what I imagine taking drugs feels like. I got so happy that I didn't experience time like I normally would have. Time flew by but I didn't feel like I was rushing or overly busy. My interactions with people were all extremely pleasant. I breezed through my to-do list with ease. I would describe my life "on gratitude" as delicious. The more good you put out, the more good you get back in. It's an exchange you make with the universe called Law of Attraction. Once the flow of gratitude begins everything is just so easy, fun, and inspiring. You'll feel an addiction brewing. I could go on and about it, but I'd rather tell you step by step how to experience it for yourself.

Make a List

Every day for a week begins the same. Wake up, grab a pen and paper, and make a list of five to ten things you're grateful for. The most important part of the practice is really focusing on how things make you feel. This is also why it's important to hand write your list rather than typing it. Writing improves memory recall and critical thinking so it's more intimate and beneficial. Also, try to use words like ease, clarity, satisfaction, fun, lively, safe, open etc. Essentially, try to go deeper than "good" or "great."

I am grateful for _____ because it makes me feel____.

I am grateful for _____ because it feels like ____.

I am grateful for ____because it _____ and that makes me feel____.

Try not to make a list of conditional statements like "I am grateful for my boyfriend because he cleaned the house." Instead, find gratitude for things that are not based on others actions. You want this practice to be sustainable so focus on things within your control.

Ride the High

The best part of the practice was learning that I could control my day by choosing to focus only on things that made me feel good. I was riding the high and I made no apologies. For example, my friend sent me a screenshot of a tweet that was a paragraph long. I scanned the tweet and responded to her text with a sentence from the tweet that I enjoyed. It wasn't until she told me to reread the tweet that I realized how awful the rest of it was. Subconsciously, I had only allowed the portion of that tweet that matched my vibe into my experience. It was a "B&#*h Don't Kill My Vibe" kind of moment.

Get Used to It

Beware, when you begin practicing gratitude you will feel intense exhilaration. Then, like any drug, the effects taper down a bit as you get used to living a grateful life. You're still experiencing all the wonderful effects of gratitude like the ease, and the pleasant interactions, but the newness sort of wears off. When this happens, don't beat yourself up or feel like you're doing something wrong because that can cause a downward spiral. Instead, realize that you've been practicing gratitude so consistently that it's simply who you are and what you've chosen for your life. The tapering is something to strive for.