If you have a moment, why don’t you read what I just experienced?
I was actually tidying up my desk, which was urgently needed. Then something occurred to me (actually it is something I wrote in my book “Sometimes Feelings are Monsters”) that I immediately put into practice.
And because I felt so good doing it and after implementing it, I would just like to remind you to also just try it out in between:
To write a little thank-you letter.
An e-mail, a postcard, a hand-written letter, for example
- to the caterer who so lovingly arranged and packed his delivery
- to the postman who still kindly delivers your parcels
- to your neighbour who accepts parcels for you
- to your friend who actually still sends handwritten letters,…
- the Asian seamstress who always changes your clothes so reliably,
- the caretaker who sweeps the street in front of your house,
I hope by now you have some idea about whom you could write a thank-you letter to?
Who did I write to? The manager of a catering service. And it came like this:
I had given my sister a present for a “big” birthday this year, that she would be sent a catering package five times. The idea came about because she suffers from the fact that her husband can only tolerate very little variety in his everyday meals and she has lost a bit of the desire to cook during the pandemic. When she was ill and in rehab, I continued to order from the caterer until my sister was back on her feet.
Last week I paid the bill, and today it occurred to me that I could actually say thank you in addition.
I confess I didn’t feel like cleaning my desk at all just at that moment….
Writing a little email took five minutes – and suddenly I felt good again, yes, really cheerful!
Now that I’ve remembered the tip from my book, and because you might not have it at hand like I do, I’m sitting here now (yes, I know, instead of tidying up!) and writing to you.
Because I love the Advent season, because I imagine that one or the other of you may also have just got bogged down with what you wanted to do and because I found it so amazingly easy how quickly I was back in a really pleasant frame of mind.
The fact that I am writing to you now continues to help me – precisely because I imagine how one or the other of you now also quickly writes an email and feels better again.
If you would like to read the text from my book, I have attached it below!
And if you are looking for a gift for someone who would like to understand better how it works with our feelings and what you can do to feel better more often, then I recommend my book – information and tips to remember and read again whenever you are looking for a good idea for yourself.
With best wishes for today’s third Advent,
Excerpt from “Sometimes Feelings are Monsters”:
The other way round?
My advice: The next time you experience dissatisfaction, or when your work isn’t progressing sufficiently, write a little thank you note to someone who has helped you or has done something nice for you.
Not your thing at all, you say? You’d rather do that when you feel better?
You’ve probably heard of random acts of kindness. Those spontaneous, random acts of kindness that not only make the recipients happy, but, most importantly, they make you happy!
Do you think this is wrong, considering that you are not doing well yourself? Do you think it is backward? You would be happy when someone does something nice for you, wouldn’t you? How would that work the other way around?
You don’t have to take my word for it.
Just see if you can think of someone to thank the next time you’re unhappy with yourself and the world and just do it. Write it in an simple form, by email, a text message or, if it feels more comfortable, a postcard.
You will feel some resistance at first. That’s normal, that’s how our brain works. You know, it is busy thinking about misery and wants to continue on that thread. But now it’s up to you to decide to change that. By applying this little trick you have the ability to change your mood within three to five minutes if you want to. With practice this will become easier and easier.
Another explanation: We think we have to be successful in order to be happy. But our brain works the other way around: If you can increase your positivity level of the present moment your brain experiences what is sometimes called a happiness advantage. This means that your brain performs significantly better in a positive state than in a negative, neutral, or stressed one. Your intelligence increases, as does your creativity and your energy level. When dopamine floods your system, moving you into a positive state, it not only makes you happier, but it it also turns on all the learning centers of your brain. It allows you to tune into the world in a different way. And for that it might be worth exercising your brain once in a while, don’t you think?