Have you ever decided to stop scrolling through social media because you keep comparing your life to everyone else’s and yours doesn’t seem to measure up?
Have you ever stopped talking to a friend, or co-worker because their weight loss or success made you feel like a loser?
Have you ever wished a family member would stop bragging about all the good in their life?
We all have these moments where we compare our lives to others, especially in those times when we feel like we aren’t making progress. Especially in these moments, it is so important to remind ourselves that it is not just what we are doing, but who we are being, that determines the experience of our life. When you are constantly looking at what you don’t have and not seeing the good that is all around you, your progress can be significantly stalled.
We have all heard of the woman who is desperate to get pregnant and feeling defeated decides to adopt and not long after letting go of the dream she finds herself with child.
For a long time, being positive was seen as a way to fake it through life. But I love all the research that is filling the personal development sections of the book stores proving that happiness is essential to thriving. It is not enough to simply not be negative, we need to prioritize feeling positive. As you’ve heard me mention before, the positivity ratio for flourishing is three positive emotions to every one negative emotion. One way to access positive emotion is through celebratory love.
“If you cherish the success of others as much as you do your own, you can vastly multiply your opportunities for love and happiness.”
So writes Barbara Fredrickson in her book (that I’m currently reading) called Love2.0. In her book, she describes an easy meditation called Celebratory Love that I’ve been trying and I invite you to try as well. With this practice, you can make your social media time, your people watching time or your bedtime an opportunity for multiplying your own good. It may take time to recognize and respond to others in a whole-hearted way, but doing so will help break long standing habits of resentment, self criticism or comparison.
Here are a couple of ways you can incorporate celebratory love into your life:
- As you scroll through social media and notice someone who seems to be experiencing what you wish to experience more of in your life, you send them a blessing: “May your happiness and good fortune continue.”
- As you walk to work, or people watch at a coffee shop, notice those people who seem to have a bounce in their step, are laughing, or seem to be happy; smile for them and repeat: “May your happiness and good fortune continue.”
- When you go to sleep at night, get yourself into a very relaxed state and bring to mind someone who is experiencing great success, happiness or fulfillment and silently repeat: “May your happiness and good fortune continue.”
There is no need to tell them, interrupt them or let them know you are doing this. This practice is meant to soften your own heart by celebrating and basking in the blessings of others.
Life is a mix of good fortune and challenges, ups and downs. Prime your brain to look for the good that is all around you. Whether you are celebrating your success or someone else’s, there are always plenty of opportunities to prioritize positivity. Try it at least once a day – It feels really good!
May your happiness and good fortune continue.