How to find your 'happy' when you thought you'd lost it.
I remember one day, about 5 years ago, I was pouring my heart out to a dear friend of mine. With tears streaming down my face I admitted that I just seemed to have lost my joy. In that moment I honestly felt I had no happiness left......I felt defeated and I had no idea what to do about it. This was not the 'me' I knew. People quite often used to say to me :"I love how you are always smiling." or "Your company really made my day..." Well, that person was gone, and I felt helpless.
Thankfully I can say I am not in that dark place any longer! But it is because I know how this feels that I knew I just had to share this blog with you today.
Earlier this week I came across an interesting article by Harvard researcher, Shawn Achor.
He was interested to discover what people with 'happiness superpowers' do that we don't. This definitely got me interested! What he discovered was that there are in fact a few steps that any one can take that WILL make you happier.....and the wonderful news is that these steps are really easy, and anyone can do them! I definitely wanted to know what these were and I think maybe you would like to know too. You see, we live in a world where we want the formula, the answer, the "just tell me what to do and I'll do it!"
And in fact, it is quite simple.....these may not be easy to do at the start, but these are clear and simple steps we can follow.
5 small daily changes that are guaranteed to bring you greater happiness: (If you actually do them....and don't just think about them!)
3 gratitudes: Every day, take some time to speak out to yourself three things that you are grateful for. Say them out loud so that you hear them. Notice how specifically acknowledging these things makes you feel. That's right....savour these things that you are grateful for!...You will almost instantly start to feel happier!
Journaling: Some of you may be thinking...ok, so this won't work for me because I don't journal....well, I encourage you to think of creative ways that you, in your own unique way, could possibly enjoy your own kind of journaling experience. Maybe it's typing a few notes into your phone, maybe it's recording a voice memo. Maybe you are like me. I have about three journals around the house and am not too specific about what or when I journal or which journal I use. I keep one next to my bed, one at my desk, and another one floats around either in the kitchen, lounge, or in my handbag! Oh, and I try to keep a pen handy with each book. I have been amazed how since I have started to journal, to actually write my thoughts down, I get see them for what they really are, I get to slow down and become aware of my thoughts and I gain more clarity and perspective on circumstances around me. Often things I thought were mountains start to look like mole-hills once written down. I can also reflect back to my journal when I am thinking about what to be grateful for. That is when I often realise how many prayers have been answered....this is an easy recipe for gratefulness!
Exercise: This one is a no brainer....we all know we need to exercise!! If daily exercise is a big stretch for you, then at least 4 times per week...and move as much as possible in between. I will speak more about this in a future blog. One tip for today: Decide that whatever you choose to do for exercise, you choose to see it as a joy, and a passion, not a discipline or struggle.
Meditation: For me this looks like quiet time with my bible and prayer. I am so often astounded at how God directs my reading to things I specifically needed to hear on that day. I gain huge strength, motivation and comfort during this time. For you, this may look very different. Shawn Achor goes on to explain that only 2 minutes of meditation every day for 21 days can rewire your brain pathways for happiness!!
Random acts of kindness: The pleasure that comes from giving is well known to be greater than the pleasure gained from receiving. A suggested act of kindness is a two-minute thank you email or text, praising or thanking someone you know. Doing this every day for 21 days dramatically increases your social connections which greatly improves your happiness. Other examples are surprising your colleague with a coffee, giving 5 minutes of your time to call a friend and connect, giving up your seat on a bus....these random acts don't need to cost a cent! Even a friendly smile to a stranger can go a long way!
So, now you have some great steps that you can start today to give you the happiness boost you desire :). Oh, and an added bonus to all this is that the same Harvard research showed that these happier people turned out to be the more successful people too! Now who wouldn't want that!
If you are struggling to find happiness, why not connect with me to book your free 1 hour discovery coaching session. We can meet face to face if you are in Townsville, or else via phone or Skype.
Go to www.fulfilled-life.com today and send me your details to book your place.
Enjoy your weekend
Love and smiles, Kathryn