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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.
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Change your perception change your thoughts
I once had a client who came to me believing that she couldn’t change her negative patterns of thinking and behaving. She believed she had “wonky brain wiring.” One of the most powerful things she learned was that the ‘beliefs’ that created her thoughts were not necessarily true.
Its really possible to change the landscape of the brain in its ability to produce more positive, kind, authentic and supportive equations.
It starts with a subtle nudge towards a change in your perspective.
So that over time any unhelpful attitudes you may have learned begin to change. Those limiting beliefs that have been unique to you can transform into a healthier self esteem, self awareness and self confidence.
What difference would such a change bring to your life?
So rather than seeing the world as happening to you and responding accordingly, you shift towards a mindset where you can make different choices. Building upon those resources you already have within you AND creating new ones.
This shift is called gaining an internal locus of control. It can break old patterns that your brain has been running due to, for example, outdated life scripts and well worn habits.
When we set our intention to make the decision to create change we can be freed to open up new perspectives. That means creating changes in how we respond towards our self (what we can control) and those things external to us (or outside our control).
What’s not to like about the possibility for updating the way the brain works, if it means creating even better versions of the self? So that irrespective of what happens in your day you feel a natural freedom to choose the meaning of it and how you respond to it.
The Brainy Science bit:
The brain is ‘plastic’ – or to be more accurate – patterns of thinking can change because of something called Neuro-plasticity within the brain. (Try saying neuro-plasticity!)
Here’s an interesting snippet from article I came across recently on this point:
“The mainstream view in neuroscience and medicine today is that the living brain is actually “neuroplastic”—meaning that its “circuits” are constantly changing in response to what we actually do out in the world. As we think, perceive, form memories or learn new skills, the connections between brain cells also change and strengthen. Far from being hard-wired, the brain has circuits that very rapidly form, un-form and reform. This capacity is the foundation for the brain’s distinctive way of healing. ” Article Wall Street Journal : Our Amazingly Plastic brains.
* Neuroplasticity: Any habit molds the very structure of your brain in ways that strengthen your proclivity for that habit.
Scientific article of brain plasticity…source http://www.wsj.com/articles/our-amazingly-plastic-brains-1423262095
As a great guy once said, “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.” Wayne Dyer.
Raising the default level of happiness in your life:
Theories abound about what it is that brings us true happiness. Like for example, “60% of our happiness is determined by genetics and our environment and that the other 40% is up to us”.
What’s for sure is that happiness can be something different for every one of us.
Research within the field of positive psychology has shown that the pursuit of ‘pleasure’ in itself, does not necessarily have any contribution to lasting fulfillment and happiness.
Rather ‘pleasure’ is the icing on the cake for those of us leading satisfactory lives which has meaning and purpose, and where we have a sense of engagement by being in-flow with what we are doing.
Yes, indeed this is possible to do. In the rush of our lives, it’s sometimes too easy to overlook those things that could make a difference in raising our perceptions and happiness levels.
Here’s are few tips from those who practice happiness within their daily lives.
Surrounding yourself with other happy people:
Well, who needs to be brought down by other peoples negative attitudes and behaviours?
If we feel that we are surrounded by people behaving or thinking in a certain way, it’s so easy to take on the same way of thinking and being.
Make a change and find people who are more joyous and playful – that too is just as contagious.
Okay, so something you’ve tried out may not be successful at first. To succeed we have to be willing to fail, then we can start coming up with the golden moments.
Take small steps towards what it is you want to do and remember to look out and celebrate the smaller victories too.
Appreciate simple pleasures:
At the end of your day, and just before you go to sleep, there is a ‘positive psychology’ tactic you can try out.
Take a moment to allow your unconscious to bring forward 1 to 3 gifts from the day.
For example, it could be help from a stranger, the beauty of the sky, or a flower, a piece of music, something you did to help another.
Whatever it is that would be a good thing to have happened because of, or while you were present.
Choosing to tune into optimism has many health benefits including reducing stress.
Learning ‘mindfulness’ or ‘meditation:
Giving you a chance to put to one side the cares of the day. Switch off technology and find a place to be at peace, just for 10 to 20 minutes once or twice a day.
Using mindfulness or meditation techniques can lower your stress levels, recharge your brain functions and increase your resilience.
Connect with your environment in a new way:
By tapping into different habits, you could make a difference to your day, or your week. Learning to make choices in how we interact with ourselves and the world around us more positively.
For example, some people help themselves by creating a better experience of their day by choosing a different route through the park or a new street.
Opening up their awareness to the amazing things that surround us.
For many more tips and the route to background studies and research, I’d like to share with you this excellent blog from the Huffington post: