The evidence about the power of gratitude is clear: gratitude is good for you. And the best thing? It doesn't cost a cent and is easy to do.
I was deliciously reminded of this when, on a quiet Friday night at home and spending some time on social media, @Ashwer_Wolf tweeted "Tell me the best thing today."
Here's a taste of some of the fabulous responses:
"getting my fire back after a few years of quietly examining my core values and interests. It felt like I had died but in fact I shaved some parts of me away that weren't good"
"Aldi Early Grey. It's delicious. It's cheap"
"Realising my dad is so very kind and wonderful in his own gruff way. And recognising I need to be a better son"
"Balloon dinosaur purchased from local markets ….
"I tidied up the linen cupboard, been on To Do list for 18 months. It looks good"
"As expected, it was the coffee"
"going for a walk. Never tire of the simple things in life"
"finally finding exactly the right kind of overalls that Miss 14 has been looking for for months (double bonus they were second hand)
"harvesting 3 snake beans from my second attempt to grow"
"finishing 6 days of work at 5pm, drinking that extra glass of Pinot Grigio knowing I can sleep in tomorrow morning and it's raining. Wonderful"
"Diagnosing and fixing a blocked fireplace flue. Which probably sounds out-of-place here, but I was pleased about it"
"finally understanding that accounting concept that's been doing my head in"
"Pastrami on toast for after nap snack"
"seeing my partners face when I gave him his birthday presents"
"My favourite chicken resumed laying eggs today after a 3 week break. It's a little thing but today was uneventful.
Listening to much needed rain falling outside and on the roof. And all the frogs and crickets that seemed to come alive after it fell.
Got the printer to talk wirelessly to the laptop. And listened to the rain sloshing into the tank. Both wonderful.
The big and the small, yet all significant. Such a simple question - what's the best thing today - leads to such powerful feedback and effect.
So it got me wondering: how could this be incorporated into your day? What are some ways we can encourage gratitude using "what's the best thing today? Here's some starter ideas for you:
Start your meetings with "what's the best thing today"
Discuss it over lunch with friends or colleagues; over dinner with family or friends
Ask "what's the best thing today" on social media and see what the responses are
Ask it as part of your voice mail message (the wonderful Corrinne Armour has this on her voice mail - every time I leave a message for her, it makes me smile even though I must have heard it dozens of times. I might even borrow the idea from her!)
Have a "best thing today" journal that you can note things in as you finish your day
What other ideas do you have?
And, more importantly, what's your best thing today? Let me know - not only will it help you focus on the good things in life, it will help me have a fabulous day too!