I was reading USA Weekend yesterday and came across this tip from The Doctors which reminded me of the feeling accomplished list (emphasis added):
Make a 'happy list.'
When we get overwhelmed by how hard life is, that's when it's even more important to remind ourselves to think positively. That's not being Pollyannaish: Research funded by the National Institutes of Health found that happier people are significantly less likely to develop heart problems. Researchers followed more than 1,700 men and women for 10 years and rated their happiness levels on a 5-point scale. They found that every extra point of happiness corresponded with a 22% lower chance of heart problems. Do this: Turn a piece of paper sideways and, across the top, write five things in your life that make you happy: your dog, your kids, your favorite football team. Then, under each one, brainstorm all the ways you can increase your enjoyment of those things in five-minute blocks. (Example: Brush the dog. Play fetch. E-mail my son. Put his picture in a frame.) Keep that list nearby for a happiness infusion after a hard day.
I think of my list of ways to feel accomplished as a mother (although not everything on there is motherhood-related) as one of these sublists: they’re quick ways to give myself and often my kids a happiness boost throughout the day.
And now I know that it doesn’t just make me feel better—it can prolong my life!
What other benefits do you see for feeling accomplished?
Keep your eyes out for an upcoming group writing project!