Nicky Perry and Bex Lipp are passionate about helping others create happier lives. They are dubbed “the Gratitude Girls” because they are so passionate about how gratitude translates into happiness and health. It is something we are all capable of, yet it is a completely under-utilized way of improving your mental and physical wellbeing. We caught up with Bex & Nicky to find out more about their brand, Awesome Inc, why gratitude is important, and how to practice it for a happier life.
Can gratitude really translate into happiness in everyday life?
Absolutely it can and it does for me. Gratitude forces us to look for the good in our day and when we do this we cannot help but find happiness along the way. What I have found in my life using gratitude, is that happiness comes from the simple things in life. The things I used to take for granted, I now see them as the gifts they truly are. Happiness is a warm herbal tea in the sunshine or a cuddle from my children. Happiness is a hot shower after a long day or a walk on the beach.
It really is a mindset change. Using gratitude helps shift your mind to see the good, and happiness just seems like this lovely by-product that comes along after.
What was the main motivation for creating Awesome Inc?
It started because I was using a gratitude diary for many years but didn’t want to feel guilty if I missed days. I asked my amazing friend Nicky who is a graphic designer if she could design a beautiful journal where I could date it, as I filled it in. We got a small number printed and we kept selling them. We now order thousands at a time. The rest they say is history! Our main motivation now is to help create a happier and healthier world.
There are lots of different features within the gratitude journals. How does each of these help with wellbeing?
Each new edition we seem to add more because we love to share what we are learning.
There is a happiness scale which you can colour in. This allows you to view your state over several days and weeks to see if your mood has been low or high. This can highlight a stressful time and let you know you need to look after yourself more.
There are colouring in pages for mindfulness. When things get a bit overwhelming you can just take a few minutes and make your journal look beautiful. Mindfulness is a fabulous tool which we talk about more in our new designs.
We have included happiness tips which are backed by science to assist you in the choices you make each day. Like ‘Smiling is Contagious’. We ask that you smile as much as you can that day. Why? Research shows smiling may increase lifespan, lower stress hormones and blood pressure. Facial muscles send messages that modify the area of the brain that affects emotions and smiling stimulates those feel-good areas of the brain more than chocolate and money.
We really love the science behind everything and like to share this within our journals and all the work we do.
A daily affirmation is also included along with your daily gratitude. Affirmations are sentences aimed to affect the conscious and the subconscious mind. They are you being in conscious control of your thoughts. They are short, powerful statements about how you wish things to be.
The best feature, however, is all the things you write in your journal. Once the pages begin to fill up, we hope that you will feel that shift from negativity into a more positive frame of mind.
How long have you been practising gratitude?
For nearly eight years now. I started off in a tiny little blank notebook and after I filled that up I could feel the shift inside. My gratitude journal is a powerful tool for me now. To keep me topped up with the good that surrounds me. It is also just a beautiful way to reflect and look back at all the amazing things that I am lucky enough to have in my life.
Gratitude has literally changed my life. I was so negative and never really felt happy. I believed that happiness would come once I did this or achieved that but now I know that happiness is inside me all the time and being grateful helps me see that.
What has the response from customers been like?
We have been blown away with the responses. We ship gratitude journals all over the world. We get testimonials in regularly and they make us tear up. Like these…
“It arrived this morning!! And already making a difference, my Mr 6 was so excited looking through it and in the walk into school he was saying things like – I’m so grateful to go to such a nice school, I’m so grateful for Warren (crossing supervisor) for making it safe for me to cross the road, I’m so grateful that you work close to home so we can now walk to school together. I am so grateful that you made a product like this for kids – Thank you” – Megan
“As a new year’s resolution to myself, I purchased the gratitude journal to try and rule out negativity in my life. I was a huge sceptic but was willing to give it a go. I am so glad I did! I feel much happier in life and it’s forced me to notice all the blessings that I’ve taken for granted. Thanks so much x” – Rebecca T
We also have schools purchasing gratitude journals to share gratitude in class with amazing results. We love seeing our journals with children. What a gift to give them.
What is your vision for Awesome Inc?
Our vision is to keep creating products that help create contentment and true happiness. We are working on a resilience toolkit at present which will be turned into an actual workbook for adults, teens and children.
“Resilience is having the skills, tools, and resources (both internal and external) to identify negative emotions, to accept them, and rebuild.”
Our resilience toolkit has been put together by Juliet Battersby who is a registered Educational Psychologist who teaches the New Zealand Defence Force about resilience.
We would love to teach people about the tools available to create happier lives and we believe that our resilience workbooks will be a great guide for people covering topics like gratitude, breathing, mindfulness, movement and more. We really just want to spread happiness far and wide.