Are We Ever Really Happy?
Are We Ever Really Happy?
So the International Day of Happiness is the 20th of March this year. What does this mean exactly? Are we meant to force ourselves to be happy on this day? Is it a time to notice how miserable we are for the rest of the year? I jest but this day of celebration does bring up a lot of pertinent issues.
Firstly, I believe we must address what happiness is. Many of us believe that happiness is a feeling of euphoria, boundless joy and ecstasy, a feeling which we all know is fleeting, hard to hold on to and very occasional in most of our lives. It’s this belief about what happiness is that gets in the way of us actually reaching the good feelings we are craving for in our lives. How about seeing happiness as contentment, satisfaction, and a flowing ease? This is much more attainable and easier to maintain for longer periods of time. This is the switch we need to understand, reflecting on our lives this way can help us to realise that we have been in a happy state much more that we think. Cause for thought? I think so.
Intrinsically linked to a more contented and satisfied state of mind, is the ability to think more positively. Once we understand that we can train our minds to think more positively the ball is very much in our court. In the West 85% of us are running a negative bias, what I mean by this is that we are predominantly focusing on what we believe is not working in our lives, what we see as going wrong and completely ignoring the good things and positive moments that are also happening around us. If we take on board the concept of Neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to create new synapses and pathways at any age, we can also begin to develop the awesome ability to create more positive pathways and move away from our dominant negative thinking. This is the key to experiencing more fulfilling and inspiring moments, this is how we can radically change our lives for the better, all we need is the realisation that it’s time for a change and the desire to make it happen.
I’m going to share a couple of tips that will put you on the path of this positive change by activating new neural pathways and essentially rewiring your brain. Sounds surgical and scary doesn’t it, but actually it’s a couple of daily practices, which will inevitably begin to shift you towards a more positive mindset which will lead to more satisfaction and deep contentment in your life. What’s not to love?
Firstly, buy a notebook, something you really like the feel and look of along with a pen you really like to write with. Keep them on your bedside table and every night before going to sleep write 5 things that you have appreciated during your day. They don’t have to be mind blowing, it can be a good chat with a friend, a delicious meal or a friendly smile from a stranger, simply something that made you feel good however fleeting.
The way this works is by recalling the positive moments in your day you are activating new neural pathways and the fact that you do this before sleep allows your subconscious to work on it overnight. This repetitive practice will begin to literally change the way you think and will begin to positively shift the way you think and feel throughout the day. Simple but really effective!
Secondly find a Mediation App and do 10 minutes a day of plugging in your headphones and listening. Latest research has proven that a regular mediation practice will not only de-stress your body and mind but also activate new beneficial neural pathways. And yes we are talking about only 10 minutes a day to have a revolutionary positive impact on your life, I have seen this happen again and again with my many clients, it is that powerful!
Hopefully with this article I have managed to convey how much a ‘happy’ mindset is up to us and within our control, all it takes is the initial spark of inspiration and a desire to make a really lasting positive change in our life, we so deserve it!