John William Tuohy (The name "my writer's site" was taken so....)
John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC
Happiness jars: Experiencing gratitude each day
jars: Experiencing gratitude each day By Abby Humphreys
returning to school after the holidays may be refreshing for some, the start of
a new semester can leave others feeling rushed and out of place from the first
I can’t be
the only one who has resorted to a zombie-like state of living in the first
weeks after the New Year. In between lectures, homework and dreary walks to
class, the days may begin to blur together and cultivate doubt or despair in
even the most positive of people.
lies not in life’s current circumstances, but in the way our minds perceive
them. Daily achievements and small victories are often overlooked if stressors
like exams or presentations are always on our minds, as worry is a more
mentally demanding emotion than satisfaction.
there is an easy fix to feeling down, and all it takes is an empty jar and an
ounce or two of creativity.
happiness jar was born from the mixing of Buddhist principles with
do-it-yourself websites like Pinterest. Though there are many variations of the
craft online, the most basic instructions are to decorate a jar of your
choosing and drop small notes containing things you are thankful for inside
throughout the year.
practice becomes a daily habit, it promotes being present and aware of every
moment, and it can bring a certain amount of uniqueness to each day which might
otherwise be lost in monotony.
I made my
first happiness jar at the beginning of 2014, and after just a few days, I
noticed both my memory and mood improving. Instead of unconsciously ruminating
on having a bad meal or procrastinating on a paper, I felt more aware of the
small good moments of each day by making a mental note to record them in my
happy to say being grateful is something I now do automatically. I’ve found
even on the worst days, finding time to record something as small as watching a
good TV show or indulging in a few Oreos makes a difference in how I remember
each day in the future.
because I made a conscious effort to remember the good over the bad, I noticed
my outlook on life changed dramatically over the course of just a few months.
At the end
of the year, busting my happiness jar open and seeing just how many good
moments I might have otherwise forgotten about brought new hope for 2015. The
typical dread at starting a new school year was replaced with excitement and
enthusiasm for the first time since elementary school.
happiness jar is a fun and meaningful way to inspire the healthy habit of being
thankful for life’s daily successes. Most importantly, it teaches we are in
charge of how we remember the way our life unfolds.
philosophers and religious figures have spoken on the subject for centuries,
but I believe a certain Jedi said it best: “Always remember, your focus
determines your reality.”