Some might say happiness is the absence of fear, stress or anxiety. For me it is more than that. Happiness helps us to access confidence more easily and is responsible for generating your overall feeling of positivity and contentment.
Since happiness is an emotion, it means we have full-time access to it, after all, we are the generators of our emotions. Of course, our circumstances might cause us to feel other emotions too. Ones that interfere with out ability to access happiness in that moment. Although it is estimated that only 10% of our overall happiness comes from your environment.
This means that whilst we could take a universal tragedy, that depending on how someone perceived that situation, there could still be people who would consider themselves happy in spite of it. This can only be caused by how they chose to think about the life rather than what life actually presents them with.
Learning to find happiness (especially if you have grown up with or work in an environment with particularly negative people) can be a real challenge. How can you condition yourself to have more happiness more of the time?
Comparative thinking is just one of the ways that we teach clients at the hypnotherapy and NLP Clinic in Hertfordshire. Comparative thinking is when, if you’re in a bad place and you notice someone who’s in a worse position than you, it starts to make you feel better as a result of comparing your situation to that of somebody who is, in some way, worse off. Comparative thinking comes from the school of positive psychology and is a way that people can effectively begin to change how they feel about their present circumstances.
Another way to increase your levels of happiness is to stop only rewarding yourself with happiness when you have achieved a goal. You’ve probably heard about the dangers in seeing yourself as successful once you have completed something. The problem this creates is you only have a very short moment of feeling successful before you have to create another goal post somewhere further away. If you do this with happiness too, it’s something you will constantly seek and never find. Avoid telling yourself things like “I’ll be happy when I’m with my perfect partner” or “I’ll be happy when I’ve bought a new car.” Find happiness in the now.
If happiness for what you have right now seems like to big an undertaking, then a smaller step can be to begin to find happiness in the every day things that you have learned to take for granted. For example, seeing a butterfly or a moment of warm sunshine on your face before the clouds blow over. When you have these experiences remark out loud or in your mind how lovely they are, or how grate fun you are. This will start to reprogram your mind to seek out more experiences like this. Plus it increases your positive memory references so that you have good memories you can return to for a top-up or ‘happy’ when you need it.
By Gemma Bailey