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  • Liza Hahn, Yoga Therapist In Training

Using Gratitude Practices to Boost Your Mood

As a part-time School Counselor, I spend much of my summer reflecting on the past year, reading, swimming, and practicing yoga. In June, I attended a conference where I heard an exceptional speaker; His name was Jack Harkins and he presented on Leadership in Professional and Personal Interactions.

Jack has a background in Economics and found himself in many leadership roles. He wanted to explore what characteristics he had that led him to be chosen to lead different teams and projects. How was he any different from the other colleagues he worked with?

In his journey he learned about Emotional Intelligence, written about by Daniel Goleman, a Science Journalist and Psychologist. Emotional Intelligence is defined as, “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” Jack incorporated his knowledge of Emotional Intelligence and implemented it into his research. In his presentation, Jack focused on the pursuit of happiness and how to increase happiness in your life.

His message really spoke to me and I found myself asking....

"How do I overcome the daily negative pull that tends to suck me in during the school year? How do I increase my feelings of happiness? How does being happier impact my life in a positive way?”

Jack's answer? The 3-2-1 activity. As he put: “It's a sure way to increasing happiness in your life."

In a nutshell, 3-2-1 goes like this:

  • First, write three things that you are grateful for every day. This can be as simple as having soap to as complicated as defeating a migraine. I had learned this simple technique from Oprah awhile back, but was too lazy to begin the task.

  • Second, spend two minutes journaling about something positive in your life.

  • Finally, thank one person in your life for something they have shared with you. Again, it can be as simple as a compliment to making dinner for you at night.

By writing a 3-2-1 every day, I have noticed an overall improvement in my happiness level and an increased ability to “not sweat the small stuff” as much as I would have in the past.

Try it out in order to live a more authentic and present life.

Related Resources:

13 Signs of High Emotional Intelligence:

The Best Happiness Apps of 2018 (Psychology Today):

Exercising Gratitude (Hazelden):

[This article does not create a client-counselor relationship. This article is general counseling information and is not to be considered legal or medical advice. Please consult with your mental health professional before you rely on this information.]


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