What exactly is happiness?
It is different to each and everyone of us, in some ways that is what makes happiness so special.
For me happiness is the small things, that moment when you catch your loved ones eye and you both know exactly what the other is thinking, a whole conversation can be had just in that one quick look.
Its the smell after a rain shower, the beautiful crisp morning in autumn. Its having your breath taken away by the amount of stars in the sky… I could go on but as I said we are all different and will find happiness in many varied things.
Something that makes one happy may seem utterly odd to someone else.
Happiness comes from our memories, the way our lives have been shaped and most importantly from our own minds.
However this is where the problem lies….
Our minds are hardwired for survival which will often point us towards survival mode rather than the happiness mode.
The other thing to remember is that we can not be happy ALL the time. We need to experience a wide range of emotions to be healthy and to truly appreciate what happiness is.
Often we don't allow ourselves to be happy, whether it is because we feel guilt for bring happy or we feel we don't deserve it (our survival brain kicking in again!)
So how do we be 'more happy' ?
Sadly there is no magic button but there are steps we can take to help….
In this digital age we are bombarded by information and images which can make us feel like we are not good enough, or we are bombarded by fear or awful images and stories from the news outlets which can create a sense of fear or despair. We know that these images are photo shopped and staged but that doesn't seem to be enough to stop the negative brain.
As hard as it can be, try to step away from social media, the news ect for a short time. If its difficult try turning it off for just a short period each day then gradually build up. I promise you wont miss something, if anything of major importance were to happen everybody would talk about it instantly so you would know.
Taking just that small amount of time away can do your happiness levels the world of good.
Another way to help is to ground yourself.
When was the last time you stood barefoot outside?
By reconnecting your body to the ground you also reconnect your soul.
As you stand outside really focus on your feet, what can you feel? Is it cold? If so how cold? What does it feel like? What can you smell? What can you hear? When you pause and really listen you get passed the initial sounds that you can hear and really listen you start to hear the bird song in the distance, the rustle of trees…
The third thing you can do to help with happiness is retrain your brain, it takes effort, it takes time and practice.
Like I have said our brains our hard wired for survival, because of this negativity within our brains comes out easier than positivity.
We can learn to turn it around though, every time your brain has a negative thought try to counter act it with a positive thought. It can help if you give your negative brain a name, it makes it easier to tell it to shut up when you are having an internal dialogue with yourself.
The positive bit is the part that takes the practice but the more you practice the easier it gets.
Showing gratitude can help shhh the negative brain too, each morning or each evening try to find at least three things you feel grateful for. No matter how hard the day may have felt try to find three things.
One more small thing that you can do is walk...
The simple act of putting one foot in front of the other can have a massive impact on our thoughts. The fresh air, the exercise but also the act of moving forward. That one foot at a time helps the mind enormously.
These small steps can have a huge effect on your happiness.
Remember you are allowed to be happy but equally as important, you are allowed to feel every other emotion under the sun too.
The trick is to acknowledge each of these emotions, accept them, allow them but not to let them stay for too long. Accepting them takes away the feeling of being overwhelmed, acknowledging them allows for you to work through what caused them, then the positive out look can help to bring you back around quicker.
Remember we cant be happy 100% of the time but we can accept all of our emotions and feelings and learn how to build happiness into our day.
So what makes you happy? Not the big stuff, what are the teeny tiny things that make you happy?
Those are the ones that add up….
I'm going to finish this short blog with a little note to say that it is what it says, just a short blog. If you feel very low please talk to someone....