I’ve had a stressful week. Let me rephrase- I’ve had an enormously stressful week. If there was something that could go wrong, it seemed like it did. As a result, my whole energy was transformed. I noticed my jaw being clenched for most of the day, waking up intermittently in the middle of the night, as well as just generally being irritable with anyone that crossed my path.

I began to reflect on you. If you’re reading this, you are probably my client, or a former client of mine. It’s likely that you came in to session during an extremely stressful week and heard me give you an assignment. You probably thought, “oh brilliant, just another stressor to add to my life!”

However, these tools that I give you each work are tools I truly believe in. The purpose in today’s writing is to let you know that I practice what I preach. I sat down and meditated on my happiness card. Although, I felt rushed, stretched, and exhausted- I took about 20 minutes out of my day, one morning, to really think about the things I am grateful for in my life. You know what? It worked. How about that?

Many of us have heard the research-supported benefits of developing and maintaining a gratuity journal, or what I call “a happiness card.” Yet, how often do we actually take the time to do this? It never ceases to amaze me how much time most of us spend on things that contribute to our own stress and anxiety and how little time we actually spend on the things we know lead to fulfillment.

Could you take 20 minutes out of the day to create your own unique happiness card? Happier.com has actually created an app for that, as well. What things are you truly grateful for? Palm trees? Your best friend? Your relationship with your partner? Your new walking shoes? Start today by focusing on what’s right in your life and observe how differently you begin to feel.

And if you don’t feel good after that- just watch this clip: This girl may just run me out of business…

Dr. Colleen Long is the author of “Happiness in B.A.L.A.N.C.E,” and practices in the Los Angeles area under the supervision of Dr. Richard Oelberger (PSY22186) . Dr. Long works mainly from a positive psychology framework as it applies to addiction, depression, relationships,  body image and weight loss. Her website can be found at www.DrColleenLong.com. All public speaking/media event requests handled through FreudTV (info@FreudTV.com).