What a happiness jar can teach us about resilience, hope & gratitude

At the end of 2016 my mother-in-law suggested I start a ‘happiness jar’ and it’s one of the best resolutions I’ve ever made.

The principle is simple – it’s an effective way to remind yourself about all the good things in life, which can so easily be forgotten about when you’re thrown a curveball. In 2017 my husband and I experienced perhaps the toughest year in our decade long relationship, and our ‘happiness jar’ taught us a lot about resilience, hope, and gratitude.

Starting your own happiness jar couldn’t be easier. Find yourself a jar (a box or pot would also work) and put it somewhere visible. When something happens – no matter how big or small – to make you smile, feel happy or content write it down and put it in your jar. At the end of the year open it up and read through all your notes of happiness. It’s a great way of remembering all the positive things that happened over the last 12 months, some of which you will forget, believe me.

For us, 2017 was a real struggle. My husband lost his long term job less than a month after we relocated from Essex to Norfolk and spent pretty much the entirety of the year in and out of work. Just when we thought it was okay to breathe and relax because a job seemed to be going well, BOOM, he was made redundant again.

It felt like an awful year full of bad luck and money worries but lucky for us we have great family behind us and we got through it. Our happiness jar also reminded us of the good things that happened, some of which we had long forgotten. Despite it being a stressful year our jar was actually quite full.

There are no rules for your happiness jar, you can add whatever you like no matter how big or small. If it makes you happy then it warrants its place among the notes. It’s also a nice idea for the whole family to contribute; I plan on letting our daughter put her happy notes in when she is older.

Whether it is a holiday away, a long walk or painting a wall in your house, it doesn’t matter, if it boosted your wellbeing then put it in the jar.

This is a great way for you and your family to appreciate the little things amid the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, it helps you take stock of what truly matters, but most importantly it helps you realise that even when life is tough, good things still happen.

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