Two of my favorite happiness triggers are anticipation and gratitude. Anticipation is having something to look forward to, and gratitude is being thankful for what you have. Combine the two, and it has the power to immediately shift your attitude from one of overwhelm and burden to awe and energy. And I’ve found a very simple way you can do it in your everyday conversation.
Instead of talking about your activities, to-do list and obligations as things you “have to” to do. Start describing them as things you “get to” do. “I have to go to work” becomes “I get to go to work.” Many people would love that opportunity, but for any number of reasons, don’t have it. “I have to go grocery shopping” becomes “I get to go grocery shopping.” That means you have the resources to buy food to nourish you and your family. “I have to go to the dentist” becomes “I get to go to the dentist.” That means you have access to a professional who can help you. In many parts of the world, medical professionals are scarce. Just make a one-word switch from “have to” to “get to.” See the difference? One is a burden. The other is a blessing.
So this week, when you catch yourself talking dreadfully about all the things you “have to” do, shift your perspective by changing your language. Then think of the reasons you have to be grateful that you “get to” do your life’s activities.