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

Living Fully



I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Autumn. Autumn is a great time for slowing down and reflecting, coming into the moment, wakening the senses to the beauty around us during this glorious golden season. Make this a time to invest in your own health: Physically, mentally and emotionally. This is a time for self-care and there is so much you can do for yourself.

Slow Down

Our continuous busy-ness can create stress and overthinking. Our minds become cluttered, forgetful and confused. Taking time to just be, can be very nourishing and refreshing. It is like a reset for the mind and brings much needed clarity. With the left thinking brain quieting, the right creative brain can open up. Daydreaming is a great way of just being. As you daydream, you just follow the natural trail of your thoughts as they flow into new creative ideas and perspectives. In the relaxed state of daydreaming, the mind opens up to the subtlety of intuition, inspiration and inner wisdom – the seat of creativity.

Letting go

Autumn is a season for letting go. Just as the house needs a declutter, so does the mind. Let go emotionally, of any unsettling emotional feelings and mentally, of all excessive thoughts. Set the intention to let it go, much like the trees let go of their leaves right now. Releasing brings relief and makes space for joy to return.

Let go of the need to control too. A major source of suffering is wanting things ‘my way’. Everything happens for your own learning and growth. Let go of the importance of other people’s opinions too. They are just opinions, not truths. When you attach too much value to their opinions, you are giving your power away. Liberate yourself from others’ opinions and give yourself the permission to just be your true self. That brings freedom and happiness.

Mindfully

Present moment awareness is a great mastery practice. Most people go through life and their daily routine in a trance, asleep, unaware, on automatic pilot. When we are present in the moment, we are truly alive and awakened.

Living Your Life to the Full

Bonnie Ware, a palliative care nurse in Australia, routinely asked her patients about their regrets. In her book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, she records the following common regrets:

  1. I wish I’d dared to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me (pursuing your own dreams).
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard (work-life balance).
  3. I wish I’d dared to express my feelings (honouring and expressing your feelings positively impacts your health and happiness).
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends (personal connections make life meaningful).
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier (happiness is a choice regardless of circumstances).

Open up to the magic of life this November by enjoying the simple things in life. Get out, join the spirit of nature, kick some leaves, refresh and brighten up your own spirit. Meet up with friends, express your feelings and welcome joyful and happy moments into your life.

Resources

7 Holistic Self-Care Practices for the darker nights
Meditation: Loving Kindness in Autumn
Meditation: Gratitude Mindfulness Meditation
Plan ahead, book your space on our Meditation Courses starting Spring next year.
Time Line Therapy™ is the most powerful way to let go of all negative emotions and baggage from the past – anger, sadness, fear, depression and anxiety. We can also let go of self-doubt and limiting beliefs that keep you from feeling confident and reaching your highest potential, and develop empowering beliefs and natural confidence instead. Time Line Therapy™ is unique in its approach and resolves issues remarkably quickly without having to go into a lot of details. For more information click on this link: Time Line Therapy™.