Don’t you just love games? I’m not talking about the games people play in life to manipulate events or other people. I’m talking about the fun games we can play to bring about joy and laughter into our lives. Scrabble, Monopoly, UNO. There are so many I remember playing as a child which I now play my children.
But what about games that can increase happiness and gratitude in your life and positively impact those around you? Would you be interested in one of those games?
Over the past few weeks I have been playing 2 of my favourite games and let me tell you, it has been wonderful! Let me share these with you now…
The Thank You Game
The Thank You Game is really simple. It’s all about saying Thank You more often. Whether it’s to the shop assistant who served you at the grocery story, the driver that let you in during peak hour, your partner for cooking dinner, your parents for helping out with your children, your children for helping out at home, your friend for being a shoulder to lean on, the universe, god, life, your body, even your bed for providing you a warm and comfortable place to sleep.
Saying Thank You more often increases the gratitude we have for life. And the more we focus on what we have to be grateful for, the more we will see in our life to be grateful for.
Here are a few examples of where you could use Thank You in your life.
- Thank you God (Universe) for my abundance.
- Thank you God (Universe) for my vibrant health.
- Thank you God (Universe) for such rich friendships.
- Thank you God (Universe) for financial success.
- Thank you to my amazing body
- Thank you to this amazing planet for the wonderful experiences of life.
- Thank you for this feeling of….
Yes, thanking our feelings is also important. Our feelings are not us. They are merely a state of being for a period of time. They do not define us but guide us on our journey in life.
An exercise in Thanking our feelings…
Here’s a little exercise you can try. Sit down and write down how you are
feeling. Be it positive or negative,
write it all down without judgement.
Once you have written down all that you are feeling, I want you to thank each and every feeling and then add “as it helps me to understand….”.
A few examples could be:
- I thank the feeling of anger as it helps me to understand that I need to make changes.
- I thank the feeling of happiness as it helps me to see the joy in life.
Continue for as long as you wish thanking each feeling and then adding how it is helping you in your life. This can be an extremely powerful exercise to help you understand why you are feeling a certain way.
The Smile Game
My other favourite game is The Smile Game. In this game you notice how many times a day you smile and consciously increase how often you smile. Whether it’s at yourself or at others.
Smiling is actually more powerful then we give it credit and can actually encourage happiness. Even a forced smile can have an impact! Biologically a smile stimulates a powerful chemical reaction in the brain, releasing endorphins and chemicals that increase feelings of happiness, pleasure and well-being, and reduce stress levels. And happiness boosts your health!
So how do we Smile more often when we don’t feel like it or forget to?
Put a reminder in your phone, that reminds you every hour to “SMILE”.
Put a reminder on your bathroom mirror or next to your bed that says, “Wake up with a SMILE.” And “Go to sleep with a SMILE”.
Smile at everyone you meet.
Smile at yourself every time you pass a mirror or a reflective surface.
Make a list of everything that makes you smile. It could be people, pictures, videos, affirmations, or anything else that makes you smile, and then when you need help remembering to smile, read your list.
If you are struggling to smile, put a pencil or straw between your lips. This action creates a fake smile. Then look in the mirror… chances are you will start smiling when you see yourself!
So, let’s start playing these two games every day and spread gratitude and joy to everyone that crosses our path. It all starts with you!
And remember, Happiness Starts with a Smile and Empowerment Starts with a Choice!