It’s Summertime – How can you Create Happiness?

Happiness is the one thing people chase more than anything else. At the start of coaching or therapeutic intervention, we usually reflect on what we want to achieve. People often say to me ‘I just want to be happy’. Happiness is not something you set a goal for, it’s a state of mind that you can choose and cultivate. Happiness is not something to be found in experiences or success or material things. It’s not something to achieve at some point, you can be happy right now.

Drukpa, Author of Happiness is a State of Mind offers a simplistic approach to happiness. He reminds us that happiness is already there. ‘Happiness is your nature’. You don’t need to pursue it, you just need to realise it’s there, in your heart. It may be covered by layers of thoughts, fears, worries and doubts, but it has always been there. How do we know this? For me the evidence is in a child. Observe children below the age of 5. They are naturally happy, fearless, adventurous, full of energy, have a lust for life and are naturally confident too. We were all like that before the conscious ego mind developed with all it’s doubts, fears and concern about opinions.

Drukpa adds: ‘The mind’s natural state is one of clarity and luminosity’. This is encouraging. We just need to learn to let go of the fog. Let go of the conditions we place on our happiness. Nurture the mind to loosen its grip on fear and worries. Then let the natural, true state of mind create your happy day, week and life. How often do we say ‘I’ll be happy if my day or week turns out successful? Well, it’s a bit like the chicken and egg; which one comes first? Happiness or success? Could happiness be the reason things turn out well? Research has now proven that a happy mind is more likely to create success. In fact success depends on a happy state of mind. So instead of chasing success, rather nurture and cultivate a happy mind. Our work is always inner work. With the investment of inner work, the outer world (a reflection of ourselves) resolves itself.

True happiness is freedom. Freedom from fear and worries. Freedom to be yourself. We were born with limitless creative, imagination. As we free our minds to open up, we can let in so much more life, so much more happiness. 

How can you cultivate happiness?

Here are six  key steps to happiness:

1. Gratitude
A key practice, gratitude activates happiness chemicals Serotonin and Dopamine and increases neurons in the prefrontal cortex; the higher mind.
– Start a happiness journal and capture 3 things a day for which you are grateful. This simple practice increases Serotonin levels by a significant 10% after 3 weeks according to research.
– Find happiness in everyday things like being grateful for warm water.
– Practice meditation. Take an attitude with gratitude into a mindfulness meditative practice. Reflect firstly on a person you are grateful for, secondly an event you are grateful for, thirdly something about yourself you are grateful for. In your Gratitude Mindfulness Meditation, focus on the feeling of gratitude – not the story.
– Express gratitude to somebody. Research found a 4-19% increase in levels of happiness when gratitude is expressed to a person.

2. Thought Labelling
You are not your thoughts.
– Standing back from your thoughts allows you to observe them, not be ruled by them.
– Listen to your own thoughts. Some thoughts drive emotional states:
– Shoulds or musts or ‘why didn’t I/they…’ create frustration.
– Always and never (this always happens to me) create anger.
– Catastrophising (expecting the worse) creates anxiety.
– All or nothing/black or white (nobody loves me/everybody hates me) thoughts create depression.
Ask yourself:
– Does this thought help me or harm me?
– Would I say the same thing to my best friend?
– Instead of giving yourself a hard time, bring compassion to yourself. Your journey is to become your own best friend.

3. Good Enough Decisions
Brain science has shown that making a decision, reduces worry and anxiety. It doesn’t have to be a perfect or ‘right’ decision, just a ‘good enough’ decision. Being a perfectionist can be stressful. Trying to be perfect overwhelms your brain with emotions and makes you feel out of control. You don’t have to prove anything. You are already enough just by existing, because of your own uniqueness. Once a good enough decision is made and even marginal steps taken in that direction, relief and happiness sets in.

4. Connection
It’s a basic need to feel love and acceptance from others. When we don’t, it is literally painful. Disconnection and loneliness creates pain. Research has shown that perceived rejection goes down the same pathways in the brain as physical pain.
– A key way to release Oxytocin is through touch – even a handshake or a pat on the back.
– 5 hugs a day is shown to raise Oxytocin significantly.
– Massage reduces pain, increases all the happy chemicals and decreases cortisol.
We are essentially social beings and cultivating positive interaction is essential for our happiness.

5. Savour Positive Experiences
Experience or relive a happy memory for at least 30 seconds, feeling it in the body. That develops happy neural pathways.

6. Meaning and Purpose
A longer lasting investment in your happiness is to identify what you find fulfilling and give expression to what brings meaning and purpose in your life. This can change from one phase of your life to another. It’s about expressing your unique interests, gifts and talents and how you can use them in service to humanity – asking: how can I help? When you combine your unique gifts with service to humanity, joy, abundance and flow follows.

Food for Thought
Happiness doesn’t happen to us. It is something we make happen. Nurture positive relationships, build on your own strengths, exercise choice, savour positive experiences and practice gratitude – often.

Sometimes we can do with a little help
Transformational therapies facilitate a gentle and effective way of healing and releasing issues of the past. It further provides useful mental tools that can be used to change unhelpful thought patterns. Ultimately therapy aims for wholeness of mind, bringing the head and heart into balance. The fears and doubts of the ego mind are exposed for what they are: false illusion. At the heart is who you really are, you’re unique, naturally happy, naturally confident self. Honouring your true self and living as your true self, is at the heart of happiness. Find our more at Timeline Therapy™.

Resources

Events and Courses
Join the forth-coming Meditation Course. The meditations are healing, uplifting and transformational. Full details are on the Events Calendar.

For all courses coming up in the Autumn, visit the Events Calendar.

Visit our stand Sunday 14th July at the Spirit & Wellbeing Day at the Chorley Football Club, PR7 3DU. Come for Energy Healing, Aura Cleanse, Chakra Activation to 12 Chakras. You can also experience a taster of Timeline Therapy™, buy health enhancing crystal jewellery and books

Meditation
Gratitude Mindfulness Meditation

Books
Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom by Rick Hanson
Happiness is a State of Mind by Gyalwang Drukpa
Foundations of Mastery: 12 Steps to a Fulfilled Life

Lifting the Veils of Illusions: 7 Steps to Spiritual Enlightenment

Meditation – a Key Self-Mastery Practice

There are many reasons for maintaining a meditative practice. Taking time out to still your mind is essential for your health. During meditation you nourish, cleanse and re-energise yourself. Meditation is your time to go within and tune into your intuitive inner guidance. You can clear yourself of your day, cut cords, practice peace-making and let go of the issues on the mind. During meditation you set your intentions for the day, the week and the month ahead of you. That way, you run your own life in a magical and powerful way. Meditation is your time of creation, restoration, healing, connection and inner-tuition. This month we start a series of new meditation courses. So why would you want to join this simple practice of just sitting still?

Why is Meditation so Important?

Too often people say they are too busy to meditate. In fact, the busier you are, the more you need meditation. If you’re constantly on the go, most likely it’s stressful in ways that are obvious and not so obvious. Mental and physical stress over time can lead to health conditions such as:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Digestive problems
  • Emotional imbalances
  • Various bodily ailments

Integrating meditation into your schedule can be an investment in your health. The benefits are life changing. You may take for granted your own ability to heal, and by reconnecting to yourself in this way, you can ignite some of the magic within. The nervous system calms down and the mind and body restores itself.

The Many Benefits of Meditation

Studies have found that meditation is a fantastic resource for reducing stress and increasing happiness. Meditation has proven to:

  • Relieve depression
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Reduce anger
  • Enhance self-awareness
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Energise you through focused breathing
  • Speed up healing of any illness
  • Sharpen your attention and concentration
  • Improve memory
  • Help you to sleep better
  • Boost your self-esteem
  • Improve productivity and creativity at work
  • Bring insight and wisdom
  • Align body, mind and soul
  • Cultivate calm, compassion and empathy
  • Help us enjoy more satisfying, positive, harmonious relationships with others
  • Make positive changes in the brain, increasing neural networks related to well-being.

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Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hansen is a useful resource that draws on the latest research to show how to stimulate and strengthen your brain for more fulfilling relationships, a deeper spiritual life, and a greater sense of inner confidence and worth.The author explains how you can activate the brain states of calm, joy, and compassion instead of worry, sorrow, and anger through mindfulness and meditation.

People who meditate regularly:

  • Have more energy and awareness
  • Are generally happier with their lives
  • Are more compassionate and empathetic
  • Are more caring and feel connected to others.

Meditation can save us money. How?

  • It’s easy and can be done anywhere
  • It can help overcome addictions
  • It helps develop healthy lifestyles.

Time to Meditate

The length of meditation is not as important as the discipline of a regular practice. If you only have five minutes, that is fine. You will still benefit. Every time you tap into the stillness within, you bring some of that peace with you into your day. People who meditate actually experience that they create more time in their lives. How is that possible? Well, when you’re rushed or stressed, you don’t think clearly and you end up making mistakes and doing things twice. When you’ve invested in stillness, your mind is clearer, you are able to work more efficiently, you have more energy and you think more creatively.

Over time, you may find yourself naturally enjoying longer meditations.

How do I Meditate?

There are many enjoyable ways to meditate:

  • Reflection – reflecting on your day to gain wisdom.
  • Daydreaming – just letting the mind wander, make new connections and create fresh ideas.
  • A mindful walking meditation – being in your senses, listening to the bird songs.
  • Breathing – just sitting and breathing
  • Stillness – doing nothing for a while.

Transformational Meditations

In my line of work, meditation is a therapeutic, healing and personal development tool. Over the years I have developed powerful transformational meditations for healing, energising, empowerment, manifesting/creating, enhancing intuition, promoting wholeness and connecting with your inner guidance.

I incorporate these in my work, my books and meditation courses. This month we are starting new series of meditation courses. Join us now and experience the amplified effect of group meditation. It’s so powerful and transformational it will change your life and your world for the better right from the first session. Visit the Events Calendar for full details.

Resources

Meditations:
Listen to Guided Meditations 

Meditation Courses Starting this Month:
Lifting the Veils of Illusion, Preston
Self-Mastery, Lancaster
Self-Mastery, Preston

Books:
The Foundations of Mastery, 12 Steps to a Fulfilled Life
Lifting the Veils of Illusion, 7 Steps to Spiritual Enlightenment