A lot of people consider themselves to be ‘works in progress’ in that they are not entirely happy with themselves right now. I would just like to say – you are great already. Really. If you think there is anything ‘lacking’ about you – have you ever considered that you might be wrong? You are not lacking in any way. You have everything you need to live happily day-to-day inside you right now.
Two things to remember:
Firstly, happiness is not an end goal, in fact it’s not really even a noun at all. You can’t touch it. It is not an object. It is a feeling. What happens in your body when you feel happy is that your neuro-chemistry mixes you a heady cocktail of anandamide, endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and GABA to name but a few – it makes you feel good, and what causes that is YOU. The bottom line is, to paraphrase Descartes, what you think, you are. Your thoughts cause your brain to fire off along its neural pathways and – with a quick shake – your cocktail is ready. What ingredients you choose is up to you!
Second, happy is something you bring to the process of living. Living is a verb. You don’t ‘get a happy life’ you do living happily. Moment by moment.
‘But how do I control my thoughts and feelings?’ I hear you ask.
The neural connections in your brain become pathways, like a default setting or pattern, because of the things you think most often. It’s like walking across a grassy field. The first time you walk across the meadow there is no path, the grass springs back after you’ve passed by. The second time you use the same line across the field, maybe the grass lays a little flatter after you walked through. The third time, more of the grass stalks lay flat. By the tenth time there is a distinct path. By the fifteenth time, maybe the grass has worn away and you are walking on earth. Now the path across the field is so obvious, you never even consider walking in a new direction. Your brain is the same. If you are repeatedly thinking you are ‘less than’ or ‘lack’ in any way, the neural pathway becomes more defined, easier to start off a particular train of thought leading to feelings of inadequacy or despair or worry. Those feelings then make it easier to recall all the other times you felt that way and becomes a vicious circle. Or a virtuous one, if you are repeating good thoughts – I am confident. I am learning. I am worthy. I am happy! A childhood trauma (and remember what children experience as traumatic may be different from adults) can quickly become encoded in the brain and neural pathways form around it to preserve them from pain in the future.
Four ways to help get you into a virtuous circle of feeling good:
1. Meditating – helps you learn to control your brain.
2. Laughing and smiling – helps you release more of the feel-good chemicals.
3. Tapping /EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and Havening Techniques® – help you let go of those old emotional hurts and traumas that helped pattern your thoughts in the first place.
4. Gratitude – write down at the end of each day all that there is to be grateful for.
Do any one (or even better, all of them) every day and notice the changes in your thinking and feelings for the better.
Want to find out more? Buy my new book – A Book For A Change. Come to an event such as Laughter Room, Meditation Room or Starting to Tap, or book a 1-2-1 session with Nicola in person or over Skype. Bookings being taken now.