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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.
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
The Happy List
The Happy List represents celebrating those who give kindness and compassion to change the lives of others in their communities, and it just reminds me of how great humanity can be.
During this challenging year in the UK and across the globe, it’s good to be reminded about all the acts of selflessness through kindness that humans are capable of too. So, it was with some joy that I settled down to view The Independents happy list of 50 of the top unsung heroes in the UK, chosen by the public *
Now, we know that great acts of kindness can literally change people’s lives, but have you ever thought about how even one smaller act can help you or another feel happier during your day? Acts don’t have to be large to make a difference to another, or to give you a lovely feeling.
Hers’s a quick pick from the happy list, where so many different types of people are helping their communities. And there in no particular order(!)
* Sourced from on-line Independent Newspaper UK.
Happy List 44.
Doing great work in my home city, Michelle set up a self-funded group to empower disadvantaged, and the disabled, with sport, education, employable skills and personal development.
MPower*, has become a major Liverpool city project
“Every day we work with our clients and they leave happy and smiling” Quote Live BBC Breakfast News 25th June 2017
Happy List 48
Cliff, the friendly postman in South London who cheers up his community by taking time out to chat and really get to know his customers, and whose positive outlook is infectious on the community spirit. They say… “he’s one in a million”
Happy List 23
At 95 Brian organises a volunteer’s initiative called ‘strictly tea dance’ to help address social isolation for older people.
Happy List 33
Whilst, the much younger Oliver used his IT skills and created an app to help groups of younger people meet to eat and chat and combat loneliness in London.
Happy List 49
How about things you’d usually pass by in the street. Well, Steve decided to get creative with pot holes in the road, to cheer people up.
Steve creates mini garden potholes in many cities in the UK which just makes passers-by smile! The “Holes of Happiness” project!”
Happy List 11
Josh goes around his city giving free haircuts to homeless people. Encouraging self-dignity to grow. “#Do something for Nothing”, he aims is to help make the invisible feel visible, and it’s a growing global network.
What’s the reward?
Kitchen Staff In Homeless Shelter
All these people who give so much, also receive something very powerful and well-deserved in return.
I can’t generalise on what it means to each of them, as they may not be looking for a reward, and they will all have their own unique reasons… However,
Human Givens – a personal happy list to explore
I’m reminded of something called the ‘human givens,’ which is a list of human needs that, when given attention to, can help us feel that we are experiencing a more fulfilling life.
Sounds like an interesting way to create our own happy list! Be that a sense of meaning and purpose, or belonging to something greater than our self, and therefore life can feel enriched.
A few of the human givens are:
The need for community and making a contribution
This means that we’re sustaining a need that gives us a reason for being, which is much more than just our own personal needs.
Interesting to note that doing this also increases the health of the givers immune system as well as their mental health. Which boosts a general feeling of happiness.
So, some people find happiness in volunteering in a community project, using their DIY skills, or give professional advice for free, or challenging local issues.
Whatever it would be which contributes towards the people, animals or other things in your local community which helps to make it more of a loving place.
How does the receiver gain?
Here are a few of the human givens which I associated with what I imagine to be the outcome of receiving the acts of kindness as mentioned on the happy list above.
The need to give and receive attention
Social isolation can have a detrimental effect on mental health and emotional well-being. Leading to poor behaviour and potential personal neglect.
Most people need some form of regular contact and quality time with other people. A bit of fun, and mental stimulation does wonders in keeping us physically active and emotionally secure.
The need for safety and protection
If our environment feels insecure or dangerous, then mental health will suffer.
This also applies to our basic needs being met around, financial security, job prospects, as well as physical safety.
When these needs are met through opportunities, which enable people to feel more in control, they can start to move forward again, even if it’s at a steady pace. Simply put this can be quite liberating to self-confidence.
The need for challenge and creativity
Leaning into a challenge
This can range from simple things like enjoying hobbies, to becoming more proficient through a training scheme. Or just to have a go at something new,
Learning something new, discovering ways to develop an idea, or growing our potential means different things to different people.
It’s what gets the juices going without causing negative stress, and it’s a way of turning stress on its head. Up-stress is a positive feeling which makes you want to spring out of bed in the morning.
A feeling of progression, and growing belief in yourself has a way of lifting your self-esteem and self-worth.
Because it brings with it a feeling or sense that we have meaning and purpose to our existence.
‘It’s like Exploration with a sense of Curiosity.’ Maria
By stretching our boundaries just a little bit at a time, it means we can find out if something is the right fit for us. So, there is no pressure in a negative way because we can let go of unrealistic expectation!
The need for intimacy
This is not necessarily a romantic ‘intimacy’ – although that can be nice at increasing those good endorphin hormones too!
This is just about having that one person, close family, close group of friends, or favoured pet with whom we can share time.
That includes our sensible or off the wall ideas, our doubts to encourage support, our hopes and our dreams for a future that is fulfilling.
And also, just to squeeze in spending time with and for ourselves, otherwise known as ‘me-time’ is really important too, inour need for privacy.
Your own happy list?
Create your happy list
Is it time to start making improvements in your own emotional needs? If like me, you want to cherish the good feelings that your own personal happy list could bring.
Whilst we’re at it, what could we be doing, no matter how small, to help make someone else’s day that bit sweeter too. You never know they may just ‘pay that kind act forward’
Time to get out that pen and paper or voice record those ideas straight into your phone app.
How would you schedule in one small incremental action a day, which will continue to encourage you to GO FOR IT!
When you build on those actions daily they embed like a really good habit, so that each day you’ll find you’re getting closer to fulfilling your happy list, and your emotional needs.
Wishing you and yours a fulfilling journey ahead.
And of course, should you wish to explore more about your values, your strengths and what would give you more meaning in your life you can always try out some coaching.
Contact me link
This Blog’s Sources:
If you’d like to see the full list follow the external link to the happy list as produced by The Independent Newspapers.
“In these anxious, unsettled times, let’s celebrate those who do their bit to help make a better Britain.”Quote Independent 2017
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