Let me tell you about a sequence of events that occurred this morning.

I was walking my dog and stopped to sit at a favourite spot overlooking Wotton, my hometown. A little later, I passed a lady walking with her pointer. We exchanged a few words, our dogs sniffed and we carried on in opposite directions.

Moments later I realised I didn’t have my apple headphones and concluded I’d probably left them where I’d been sitting (I’ve got form, last summer it was my car keys at the exact same spot) By this point I was closer to home, so I made a mental note to drive up and get them later. I did exactly that but couldn’t find the ear pods. Disappointing but ‘these things happen’ I thought. Realising I was hungry I decided to pop into Wotton and buy a choc chip cookie from the coffee shop where my daughter works at on Saturdays (stay with me)

As I walked out of the coffee shop, who should walk past but the lady with the pointer.

“Excuse me,” I said, “I don’t suppose you found a pair of headphones on the hill?”

“Yes!” she said “I left them on a fence post and put a photo on facebook”

I thanked her and headed back up the hill. I scoured the fence posts and there were my headphones!

You might call this happy sequence of events a coincidence. You might, if you’re so inclined call it a manifestation, or the universe helping me out. I don’t know about those things but I’m a physiotherapist and there will always be a part of me that needs to see the science. What I can go with is that, in those moments both of discovering that a stranger was kind enough to post on facebook and of finding my ear pods on the fence posts, I felt good. And I imagine some nice chemicals were released. In those moments, my brain would have received a message that ‘good stuff happens.’ Who knows whether this outlook might positively affect interactions that I have later today? And who knows what that might lead to?

I believe this is the process behind the much-documented benefits of gratification and a coaching tool I use with clients called “Thinking and Thanking”

You can use thinking and thanking at the end of the day, ideally just before you go to sleep.

  • Make a mental review of your day and note any ‘coincidences’. Episodes such as my ear pod experience, or perhaps being late for a meeting, finding the car-park full and then someone pulling out and opening a parking space just in front of you.
  • Be grateful for these coincidences and any other good things that happened today.
  • Ask for ‘a bit more please’ (you can address this request to whomever or whatever entity you choose)

It’s a really simple process and it is very interesting how many good things you can dredge up, even on what has seemed like the worst of bad days. The benefits might well be due to things we don’t yet fully understand, or it might simply be due to some lovely chemicals, but it’s simple, it’s free and it seems to make the world a happier place to be.

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