The power of small shifts to improve your wellbeing

“Do small things with great love” said Mother Theresa. 

We want to encourage you to consider what small things you could start doing today to increase your wellbeing and show love and care for yourself.

Positive Psychology research has found that people participating in studies where they were asked to carry out happiness activities, reported immediate positive emotions and continued to report more frequent feelings of happiness and contentment for as long as three months after the study ended.  It seems that short bursts of positive emotions can have a profound impact on our long term happiness. 

Here are three ideas you could consider trying:

Make life a little easier for yourself

Is there a small change you could make to help your days flow more smoothly? 

A few months back I made a small shift that has made a significant change to my happiness and sense of wellbeing.   I moved the kitchen clock forward 5 minutes!  It may sound silly, and I am very aware that the clock is fast, but it nonetheless provides me with a little boost that propels me out of the house on time.  The happiness then comes from:

  • Finding parking more easily
  • Having time to watch my kids play before class
  • Being able to enjoy a coffee before a meeting

It all adds up to a significant increase in wellbeing over time.

Savour a treat

A little treat, fully enjoyed, can stimulate a burst of energy and creativity which might then help you to do things which in turn unlock more happiness.  We’re not recommending non-stop indulgence but allowing yourself a treat every so often and savouring every moment can have a powerful impact.  What about treating yourself today to one of these experiences.

  • Pick/Buy a pretty bunch of flowers for the house
  • Enjoy some quality sushi for lunch
  • Give yourself 20 guilt-free minutes sitting in the sun reading something fun
  • Listen to a song you love (maybe sing along too!)

Express Gratitude

“Count your blessings” has become a piece of familiar grandmotherly wisdom but it’s well worth paying attention to!  Recent research is showing that people who are consistently grateful, who feel a sense of wonder and appreciation for life as it currently is; appear more energetic, more hopeful and happier. 

An easy way to try out the benefits of deliberate gratitude is to regularly write down 3-5 things that you are grateful for.  This intervention has been very well-researched and the good news is that you only need to do it from time to time to benefit, once a week for example.  The benefit is seen in increased feelings of optimism and satisfaction with life, more time spent exercising and a tangible improvement in physical health.

baby steps to flourishing

So starting today – what small shift could make a lasting improvement in your wellbeing?

With best wishes

Flourishing Mothers

Adapted from and inspired by the work of Sonya Lyubomirsky.