In the last issues I have been sharing with you how we work as humans, but it has dawned on me that this is really my agenda as I find it fascinating and maybe just maybe not everyone shares my passion. So for this issue I have decided to focus the article on something we are all have in common -our desire for – happiness.
You may argue that not all people are after happiness but I would dispute this, if someone wants a Ferrari they are actually after the happiness they perceive will come from it. If someone wants a good relationship, what they are really after is the perceived happiness that this relationship will give them. Unfortunately I have bad news… none of these things in and of themselves will give you the happiness you are craving. I have had a very challenging and changeable life and I can comfortably say that in the last few years I have been blessed to find my happiness. Where did I find it you may ask, it was inside me all the time. Happiness is not something you can find out side of yourself, the excitement of owning a Ferrari will wear off after some time; the lovely new relationship will lose its freshness and have its own challenges, happiness is inside you. These things do not make you happy, you are either happy or you are not, things do not make you happy. Now for the good news, you can become happy. Just like you learnt to be unhappy you can relearn to be happy. And this is what we are going to explore.
If you think back to when you were a child you would just do things that you enjoyed. You did not need them to be taking you somewhere or to be important to your career you just did them because they made your soul smile. It was only through life that you learnt you needed to succeed at something and that certain things were acceptable and certain things were not. That some activities had value while others not so much. Happiness is not so much about learning new things as it is about unlearning a life time of other people’s agendas and society’s conditioning and learning to live from a place of childlike wonder and engagement, happiness is inside you.
I like to look at happiness as a holistic process .If you focus on your mental happiness and ignore your physical happiness this could lead to unnecessary physical challenges that will detract from your overall happiness.
When choosing to be happy I think that there are three areas that you to be aware of.
Body, mind and soul
As there are three areas I am going to split this blog into three and this week focus on Body. The other parts will be posted in the upcoming weeks.
Make sure you are looking after it. I don’t prescribe to a one size fits all so you will have to explore this yourself. There is so much out there on this that I am only going to touch on it briefly. I have found that not every wonder diet suits my constitution so I take a bit from all of them and I listen to how my body feels on them. I recently tried the Banting diet and found that for me it made my tummy feel very heavy and sluggish. I believe that you know best what suits you and you need to learn to listen to how you feel after eating certain foods. If I have too much tea it is almost as if I get an excess of energy and then find it hard to focus and settle so I watch how much I drink and also what mood I am in beforehand. If I am already excited then I do not need any extra stimulation!
The same goes for exercise. I don’t believe that you have to do a certain routine and that only this way of doing things will work. I think when it comes to exercise the most important thing is that you enjoy it. It could be walking, running, dancing, figure skating it doesn’t really matter as long as you enjoy it. I look at it from an energetic point of view if you are not doing any movement then the energy in your body is stagnating. I love running, I don’t like running in races and most of the time I prefer to run on my own except for a few exceptions and they know who they are. I find that I get more inspirations when I run and I am generally more grounded and relaxed. I also love Qui Gong as I love how it feels to play with the energy in my body.
Also ensure that you relax your body, get a massage or have a long hot bath. It does a lot for you so be kind to it and treat it to things that make you smile inside. I buy face creams based on three criteria, firstly they must not be tested on animals, secondly they have to be good quality and thirdly and most importantly I have to feel good when I put them on, I have to like the smell, texture and everything about them. Then just putting it on in the morning makes me feel good inside. Sometimes I think this is even more important than what the creams claim they can do for me
Sleep, this for me is a biggy! I become a scary person if I haven’t slept well. I don’t need lots of sleep but I do need good quality sleep and I know many people don’t get it. If you are not sleeping well it is most likely due to stress or young children and there is not much I can offer in the way of advice for the latter except it all passes and I have found life to be quite ironic! When my children were small I would have given nearly anything for a long lazy lie- in in the morning. But now that they are becoming teenagers and like to sleep in themselves, I am awake at 5.00am! For those that are struggling with stress I have found that keeping a note pad by the side of my bed is the best cure. A lot of people know this but few actually do it. The biggest cause of stress is waking in the middle of the night with a list of things that needs to be done. Or something you need to find a solution to and then worrying that you won’t remember what you were thinking of in the morning. Just write it down and if you are worried about waking your partner keep a small torch by your bed side. It doesn’t take 5mins to write these things down and then you can go back to sleep, peaceful in the knowledge that in the morning you will have a record of your thoughts. I know this sounds almost too simple and it is -but it does work. The people I have coached that have actually done this have found a huge improvement in their sleep patterns.
Breathing, we all breathe otherwise you would be dead but few of us really breathe. I think this is also why exercise is so good for us because we tend to breathe more deeply. If you are feeling stressed or fearful take a moment to breathe deeply into your tummy and imagine all of the tension leaving your body. I find that when I am stressed or tense my body stiffens and becomes tight. Breathing helps me to relax and let go. It also appears to help my body process the emotions I am feeling and not trap them in my body to cause damage at a later date.
Next week we will look how having a healthy mind affects your happiness and how to keep yours healthy so that you can develop the happiness inside you. I look forward to meeting you again next week with love Britt