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In Pursuit of Happiness - Sept 2012

By Chantelle, Jan 9 2013 10:27PM

Last night I attended the monthly NLP meet up group that I belong to. It's a regular group that meets to discuss all things NLP and all are welcome to come along, whether you are a practitioner, learning or just have a curiosity and/or love all NLP.

Last night's topic of discussion was 'the key to happiness'.

So many people are searching for it, hoping to reach it as though it is some strange, far off and out of reach destination, when really, it's a simple as this.... happiness is within you!

As the quote says, 'happiness is not a destination, it is a way of life' and as you have control of your life, therefore you determine whether you experience it or not. Most of us want it, and to know we want it, we MUST have experienced it before, otherwise how do we know what it is? If we have experienced it before, we can do it again and with practice, make it a habit and our general way of being.

Anyone already familiar with NLP will know that we can control our emotions and states, YES you can!!! We can choose if we want to feel miserable or happy. Now, I am not saying that everyone should go around in a perpetual state of happiness, never feeling any other natural and human emotion, that would just be weird. What I am stressing though, is that you can choose how long you choose to allow sadness to rule you, you can choose how long you wish to dwell in the land of the negative. This is not to say that you shouldn’t acknowledge things that make you feel sad, or angry. To the contrary, by all means be self- aware and acknowledge but if those feelings are not serving you well, then choose something else. You can practice being in a state of happiness until it becomes normality to you.

It's incredibly important to mention that I do however acknowledge that there are some unfortunate people who for them, this choice may not be so simple, people with severe emotional and mental health issues whose lives are genuinely limited. I have real sympathy and empathy for those people and by no means set out to offend. Having a younger sibling who suffered with severe mental health issues, sadly resulting in him taking his own life at a young age, enables me to understand how serious this can be for some. What I am referring to are the majority who like to throw about phrases like 'I am so depressed today', 'I am so fed up', 'my life is rubbish'...... when really all they mean is that they can't be bothered to make the effort to change how they feel!!!

STOP IT! Do you want to STOP IT? if so:-

What we all agreed on last night are some easy steps to achieve the desired state of happiness:

- Adopt a 'solution thinking' focus rather than focussing on your problems. This enables you to have more options and more options enable you to feel more empowered.

- Choose your peer group carefully - limit time with negative sponges (we all know them)

- Choose your environment and/or how you respond to it. Just because all around you may be losing their heads, doesn’t mean you have to.

- Limit media input in your life - develop the skills to choose your own response (i.e ignore the whipped up hysteria, stay off the bandwagon).

- Take regular exercise - it releases feel good endorphins (this includes regular laughter, as laughing takes up energy and releases feel good chemicals) as well as being infectious!

- Check your physiology - teach your body to smile! There really is something to it when people say 'keep your chin up'. It is impossible to be depressed when you are looking up.

- Think of how you can be of service to others - this is not the same as taking responsibility for other people! Just helping others makes us feel good.

- Learn to say 'No'. - there is no fault in saying 'no' to something or someone. Just be tactful and polite and if this isn’t accepted, IT'S NOT YOUR PROBLEM, it's THEIRS!!

- Always look a the silver lining - no matter how dark it may seem, there is always something you can learn from a situation and there is always someone worse off than you!

- Adopt the 'Attitude of Gratitude' - give thanks for all you have. It is vey humbling.

- Become a life-long learner. It is very empowering. Regardless of what you choose to learn! What are you waiting for? Start that new hobby today.

- Meditate. You will be pleasantly surprised how much you get to know yourself when you are still and quiet. It's not always necessary to clear your mind, sometimes just some quiet time to focus on your thoughts can help you to gain clarity.

- Make time to relax and recharge your energy! - Indulge, pamper and enjoy!

- Listen to music - music works on vibration and energy. Anchoring songs that have a feel good association to lift your spirits is always a great idea.

- Find happiness in simple things. - Pets, nature, a small gesture from a stranger, a smile, a giggling baby.

And finally, but no means least, a few extra's thrown in. We all know them...

Laugh Often, Love Much, Dance Like Nobody is watching and.... be easily content!

Many rely on external factors to determine how happy we are, but it's much closer to home. If we were to constantly rely on external events to bring us happiness then we could be waiting an awfully long time and sometimes never. True, I am sure, that we can count many external forces around us that bring about feelings of happiness (I certainly can myself ... my family, dear friends, my cat, happy events that have occurred that stir up happy feelings, but can you still manage to find happiness even in the darkest of moments? Sometimes it is those times, when our ability to find inner happiness is tested the most.

I very recently experienced the very traumatic and devastating loss of a much loved family member. Made all the more sad having seen him deteriorate over many months, as his life ebbed away, far too young and leaving behind a young family. However, I feel fortunate to be able to say that amongst this sadness I managed to find inspiration, strength, determination and an extraordinary ability to become calm. I am so thankful for many things that came about during that time. Memories were made that will last forever and so too were promises. One of those promises was 'to be happy, no matter what'.

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