on my mind this week.....
take a moment to appreciate....
The subject of happiness is in the press even more as we gear up to International Happiness Day on Friday 20th.
Have you seen the Ten Keys to happiness from Action for Happiness? Well worth looking at...
I've been using them for many years in work place settings so its good to see more and more interest in happiness, what it is, and how do we get it. Ask most people what they'd like and to be happy is often one of their top answers. A lot of people believe that happiness is dependent solely on their external circumstances and so it is left to chance. All too often life is overwhelming and it seems difficult to be happy until conditions improve. What we now know is that happiness is a skill and we can work on improving happiness levels. A great read on the subject is "Happiness by Design" by Paul Dolan, looking at what makes us happy and suggesting ways to cultivate our own happiness. Understanding the science behind it can really help it make sense for us, paving the way for change.
Meditation and Mindfulness are tools that we n use to help us. Mindfulness is being aware of the present moment, in a non judging fashion, just experiencing it for what it is. This opens us up to the simplicity of right now, rather than being stuck in our stories of past regrets, future concerns, or 'shoulds' and 'expectations'. Accepting things as they are is one of the keys to happiness and once we accept something we can usually move through it, and change if we wish to. When we live in the present moment, the simplest things can be a real cause for joy: a tasty meal, a sunny day, a warm bed, a child smiling. We miss so many moments when we are locked into thinking mode. today, try to be fully present, giving your full attention to someone you are talking to, or spend a few moments in nature, or eat your meal with no distractions (tv, phone etc) savouring each mouthful.
Meditation improves happiness too, people who meditate regularly report feeling less stressed and anxious, more creative, more in control of their emotions, and feel more empathy and compassion which improve feelings of connection - again a key to feeling happy. Meditation also increases the serotonin levels in the brain, increasing happiness levels.
So come along to one of my groups, try some meditation and mindfulness, sharing chat with others who are learning too. Full guidance given, no experience necessary.
Be the happiest you x