Audio duration 04:15 Reading duration 04:00 average
It’s those fleeting moments of joy in your day that can make all the difference to your day. How to train your brain to notice them more.
#gratitude #acts of kindness #happiness
Yesterday I was out in the freezing cold of London on my way to visit the dentist! It turns out I had an excellent toothy peg cleanse. (fab hygienist skills – thanks), with no pain involved. As a reward, I followed my appointment with a beautiful cup of hot java at the local organic food café. I recalled this particular quote which I added to a photo I snapped in my garden one summer.
I wondered have you ever found happiness where you least expected it?
Go on spoil yourself or someone else today. After all, it’s the simple actions that can bring the most joy to our self, or when we take special care in doing something for another.
It’s good to become more aware of fleeting moments of happiness because they all add up to the possibilities of feeling better.
Gratitude journal: A positive psychology technique.
What does gratitude mean to you? Some may say it’s looking for those things that have changed for the better in your life.
Whereas to appreciate could mean that even if something was frustrating while you were experiencing it, you could look back now in appreciation of what you learned.
So even if it’s hard to feel grateful, we can still appreciate an insight which adds to our resources for resilience.
When you reminisce, what are those things in life where you feel a sense of gratitude?
Broaden your perspective:
For example, have you thought of being grateful for eventually understanding a hard problem you have been trying to solve?
If there where people in your life you feel thankful for who would those people be?
Broaden the circle of gratitude:
Include actions from people you don’t know like the smile that the cashier at the supermarket gave you.
The difference that makes the difference to your day.
Consider the possibility that the more we recognise and appreciate the things in life, (our efforts no matter how small, the kindness of others), the more we get those things in our life.
It’s like a brain training exercise to notice even those fleeting moments of happiness and positivity.
Hmm here’s to the taste of a good cuppa coffee or tea after a dental-cleanse! ;-D
Making gratitude a pleasurable task:
Allowing your unconscious to collect three positive things to look back on at the end of each day can continue to give you a better experience in life.
And when you write them down you have a lovely collection of memories to boost you if there should be a grey, cold winter day.
You may be interested in a few tips from those who practice happiness in their daily live click to read an earlier blog on this.
What is gratitude and its role in positive psychology – definitions and tools
If you’re interested in increasing your knowledge on this topic take a peek at this site by clicking here
Maria Richards Cognitive Hypnotherapist
There’s no time like the present. If there is something you’ve been meaning to get sorted to help you feel better, or to build confidence then take courage. If you’d like some help to get there – click on my image to find my contact me page and drop me an email.
And I wonder what you intend to focus on in 2018? Any ideas? What New Year wish means happiness for you and what one thing would you love to achieve?
Sometimes we have the big picture of what we would like to happen – it’s the getting there that can seem to evade us. Before we know it, we’re saying ‘Hey Happy New Year 2019!’ Wow! Time flies!
The most reportedly popular New Year Resolutions that people seek appears to fall into these categories.
Health and physical fitness
Finding a career or changing your job
Ditching bad relationships, creating stable and loving ones.
Having fun and that can also mean time for yourself.
Do you hanker to revisit a beloved activity; from sewing to your artistic flair. Or finding something new like learning a language or becoming a bit of a Master chef.
Spending more time face to face with people which means less time on social media!
Giving back to your community by becoming active in a cause or donating cash.
Caring for another – be that family, pets or your favourite garden plant-life.
Or maybe you have something that’s unique which means creating the time to plan for the New Year. That’s very often the issue isn’t it TIME TO PLAN? The ticking clock can become the blunt instrument that we always beat ourselves up with because we feel the pressure. And it can lead to all sorts of unhelpful messages about our ability to gain traction and achieve what we do want.
Time is a construct! – Use a bit of ‘time-trickery!’
With just a little effort
It was in the 19th Century that the 80/20 rule was given light by a chap called Wilfred Pareto. He discovered that 80 percent of the world’s worth was in the hands of just 20 percent of the population. And further investigation shows that this simple rule is a pattern found in many areas in life. For example, if you were to examine how you live your life you might notice how you spend,
80 percent of your time focused on 20 percent of the problems that created you’re worrying.
80 percent of your achievements remarkably comes from 20 percent of the effort you put in.
This rule can even impact the clothing you wear, so that
80 percent of the time you find yourself wearing only 20 percent of what’s in your wardrobe.
Does this pattern ring a bell for you?
Where are you spending most of your energy? How would you better use that power to get the results that are important to you?
What kind of things do you need to do towards achieving a sense of meaning and purpose that results in higher happiness in 2018!
Procrastination is not a New Year option?
Rather than procrastinating because you need to find the time to plan. Stop just for 30 minutes and ask yourself these following questions. In answering them, (write your answers down), you could continue your journey towards an exciting year and progressive steps to feeling better.
People, places, things
What are the 20 percent activities and areas of your life which involve 80 percent feelings of unwelcome pressure? (That could be stress or anxiety at work, in your home life, or something else?)
What are the 20 percent things that you do in which you can acknowledge you have 80 percent of your happiness?
Who are the 20 percent people in your life that you share 80 percent of your most enjoyable experiences?
When it comes to feeling energised and happy, who or what comes to mind? And in the same vein what or who causes you to feel drained of energy?
Time to take action this New Year 2018
Take a look at your responses to those questions. Your answers can indicate what you could be doing more of and where you could genuinely make a start.
Realising you have a choice can give you a sense of what you value and what you need to start attracting in your health goals, relationships, your work, and in seeking out more fun times too.
If you were able to attract more of what makes you happy in your life, what things would you choose to focus more wholeheartedly on in 2018?
What would you be doing to reap more joyful long-term benefits? You may be surprised at how you can focus more on your direction by starting with one small action!
Doing those things which give you a sense of optimism and worth about yourself and your future is like gaining a new skill or gradually changing old habits.
Make the first step to a better new year a simple one
Focus more of your attention on the positive steps you will be taking.
For example, it’s easier to change your bedtime routine, so that you aren’t wound up from watching the 10 pm news on TV. A simple choice could be to read or watch something more light-hearted instead. In other words, go to bed with happier thoughts!
Whereas making different friendship choices – that’s who you spend your downtime with, maybe more of a gradual process. As is your health goals and the small things you could be doing to make improvements.
By sticking to the completion of a first step, you’ll be making a change towards giving more quality focus and action on a percentage that enriches you and gives you a sense of accomplishment.
What will you gain? What will you lose?
With any New Year wish it’s wise to take into account what you may gain as well as what you may lose. If letting go of the old and bringing on the new causes you to grow then that’s a good thing, as is also being considerate of others and acting honourably.
Where to start?
When we consider how ‘time is precious’ if you only had a year to achieve one aspect of your purpose or desire, what are the things you would choose to put to one side? To cut down on the feeling of being overwhelmed which limits your focus. It may be a matter of delegation; it may be that you just need to let that go.
Focusing more wholeheartedly on what brings you greater benefits means taking small action steps. That’s how you could be getting closer to making those strides all connect into a significant achievement.
Keeping in mind that it’s not always the destination but the journey along the way that can bring you a real sense of satisfaction. And sometimes this approach can reveal new ideas, thoughts, and directions which are exciting.
Starting as you mean to go on.
Positive psychology contains many tactics for retraining the brain to seek out more optimistic patterns. Choosing to tune into optimism has many health benefits including reducing stress.
Every night before you go to sleep, give thanks as you review from life those things that make you feel grateful.
Decide that 2018 will be a period of growth. That means that even if there are downs as well as ups, you’ll be able to celebrate the learning. All the potential for an increase in skills, resourcefulness, resilience and insights when 2018 comes to its conclusion.
Every day, follow your instincts by taking gradual steps. No matter how small, they all add-up towards you getting a step closer to your goal and continuing on the path of happiness.
Letting go of Limiting Beliefs – what stops you completing New Year Resolutions?
A-ha – those gremlins can be a bummer! If something in your mind is stopping you, a fear, sheer anxiety or procrastination. Is self-doubt stopping you from taking steps towards a better life? Then maybe 2018 could be the right time to seek professional help and guidance.
Or do you want to wait until 2019…2020…2021…2022?
Would you like to learn more about the habits of happier people?
Subscribe by clicking on the link below and receive five tips to help you to cultivate more happiness in the New Year 2018.
Important warning: When listening to any audio content please ensure you’re not concentrating on anything else like driving a vehicle or operating machinery! With your safety in mind.
We all find ways to handle the festive season. These can range from organising heightened excitement and frivolities, like good times sharing with family or friends. Maybe there is the compulsory work do (‘party-on’) and in some cases don’ts! Whatever you have planned this year, and where ever you are placing your attention, one commonality is the amount of stress that can build up in the rush or the financial worry.
Every Monday and Tuesday over the next three weeks, I’m going to add some Christmas de-stress tips one or two of which may just be right in helping you to keep the levels of stress down around the holiday season. Alternatively, these tips could get you thinking of ways that would work better for you, so it’s a win/win!
We’ll be taking a snapshot of:
Expectation and experience
Loneliness (put in Christmas community initiatives)
Dealing with difficult people like relatives or friends
Making it Fun
What happens if you splash the cash?
What are your seasonal stress triggers?
Expectations and experience:
Extroverts delight party Christmas
For those of us who are extroverts, the Christmas experience as a big social event may be just the fuel that powers your enjoyment. Fantastic, get ‘stuck-in’!
That’s not me!
Psychology Today reviewed the research from Myers Briggs studies in the USA which determined that approximately 16 to 50 percent of the population had characteristics of an introvert.
The complete opposite of the extrovert nature means that rather than being energised by partying they’d prefer to have a nice meal in the quiet of their home.
Does this sound like you?
Then you need to find a simple way to recharge your energies through the day which will help you to cope better and let go of the fears that used to undermine your Christmas experience.
Consider planning some time whereby you can give attention to your own needs and feelings.
In the days before Christmas, where would it be possible to create a little time for yourself and by yourself?
5 to 10 minutes of private meditation, or relaxation breathing, sign up and click here if you would like a guide for one of the best ways to do this and let go of anxiety or frustration.
Listing to a favourite tune or nipping out for a short walk around the block or through the park.
You may find a mindful moment when taking a stroll and taking in the view of the daytime winter sky. Or if you prefer the twinkle of the stars at night.
In Tomorrow’s blog, we’ll take a snapshot of what some people fear the most about Christmas ‘Loneliness’.
And create some choices that you could make to break that limiting spell.
While at the opposite end there are people who feel guilty because they WANT to be alone. We discover what’s right about that?
Contact for Maria Richards Cognitive Hypnotherapist
Whether it’s stress, anxiety or building your confidence in finding your life purpose, I’m here to help. Click on my image to find my contact me page.
By influencing policy makers, it’s hoped to help those specific age groups most in need.
Who or what holds power to release independent anxious thinking?
– what do you need to believe to let the negative consequences you’re imagining, go?
The thing is that the unconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what is in your reality and what you believe for your future as a consequence of an anxious thought.
“If I screw this up again I’ll lose my job and then…” fill in the imaginary blank”.
These internal emotions bring to mind a set of rules based on fear, not only are they genuinely felt they can leave people in a quagmire of rumination. Such thoughts have a minimal basis in present reality, but they can disturb sleep, mess with your appetite and cloud any clarity of thought.
The clarity you need which, allows you to be creative because a peaceful mind can very often surprise us with levels of perception and the ability to suss out progressive steps.
The thing is if you woke in the morning with the thought “ I don’t want to be thinking that negative thought today” – oh-oh to late you’ve already considered it.
You see, what we bring to mind, comes to mind and in order not to bring it up in your mind – the brain will hunt for that very thing. (Here’s an experiment; ’don’t think of a blue tree’ – what just happened?).
Broadly speaking thoughts can be ‘bound’ (literally) by our perception of reality which for some becomes limited by our past experiences. Once we step outside our ‘safety zone’ the mind may seek to protect us.
So what if we could reduce levels of anxiety by enjoying the thrill of becoming better versions of ourselves.
Lifting the curtain on the magic trick
The thought is an illusion especially if it hasn’t happened yet. Sometimes we need to learn how to let that thought go, and this can begin through acceptance and action of a different kind.
When a client felt burdened by worries at work then he became caught in a cycle of anxiety and depression, he lost sleep, increased his daily amount of alcohol and couldn’t think clearly.
He saw his life as swirling down the plughole while he imagined losing his family. By looking for the solution to his ‘problems’ through fear it built up his anxiety.
He found that learning things like self-hypnosis and relaxation, plus experiencing other therapeutic techniques, got him to the point where he could switch his focus. Let unhelpful thinking go, and be open to better solutions.
He felt enabled to do more to strengthen his and his families emotional needs.
The Mind/Body connection
For him that meant also getting fitter, healthier, finding a creative hobby and spending quality time in having fun with his wife and children.
This helped him to step out of the old unhelpful cycle. By seeking a progressive way to deal with ‘real’ issues he stepped towards ‘real’ solutions in his present. He even considered a change in his career.
To his surprise, ‘all was not lost ‘just because he decided to relegate any unhelpful thoughts.
He turned more towards growth, and with patience, he learned that
‘thought is harmless unless you believe it’, it was the attachment to the negative thought that caused his suffering in the first place.”
Gradually realising how a more balanced outlook can lead to improvements in confidence and self-esteem in many delightful ways.
If you were offered a golden key, with the opportunity to release that old pattern of thinking by letting it go, choosing a fresh perspective, would you take it?
Ready to take that first step?
Contact Maria Cognitive Hypnotherapy
Source: GB Office of National Statistics February 2016 – article source. An analysis of personal well-being data. Search for –
Measuring national well-being ‘At what age is personal well-being at its highest’ Michael Steel
UK study: Collected over a period of 3 years, 2012-1015 with a sample of over 300,000 adults.