Happiness

What is happiness?

  • Are you someone who wakes up determined to be in a good mood, but somehow by mid-day are back to feeling grumpy and irritated?
  • Do you find that you're often worried by or anxious about seemingly small things?
  • When you look around, does everyone else seem to be happier and doing better than you are? 

If the answer is yes to one or more of these questions, read on, this article is for you.

Should we feel happy all of the time?

How do we achieve happiness? We have all asked these three questions at some point in our lives and maybe many of us are still searching for the answer.

Happiness is a feeling ranging all the way from contentment to excitement, to passion, joy and appreciation. These are just a few of the words used to describe the state of happiness. It might surprise you to know that it is possible to feel all states of emotion in the physical body. People often describe the feeling of joy as a light, tingling sensation around the heart area. Worry and fear or negative emotion is often felt as tension headaches, neck pain, a pounding heart and a general tightening all over. We all know that we experience our physical body in a totally different way when we are feeling excited compared to when we are anxious for example. Butterflies in the belly versus a rumbling abdomen and an upset digestive system. Did you know that if we take the time to FEEL an emotion, often it will only last for three to five minutes and then we feel better. It’s usually our constant thinking about the problem or focusing on the pain which prolongs the unwanted feeling.

Did you know that if we take the time to FEEL an emotion, often it will only last for three to five minutes and then we feel better.

I remember a time in my own life when I was feeling a great deal of anger. I used to buy old china plates and cups from second-hand shops because there was nothing more satisfying than smashing all of the china against the walls and floor of the basement during a burst of anger! Within five minutes I was feeling much better with a new perspective. Far better than the other option of shouting at my partner and kids! Accepting, feeling and expressing the current emotional state always feels much better.

Without negative emotion, which is meant to stimulate positive change, our lives would stand still.

In my humble opinion, the goal isn’t to feel joyful all of the time, but with practice, understanding and a few simple techniques, we can experience happiness much more of the time. Negative emotion, which can range all the way from boredom to worry, to disappointment and down to fear and depression, helps us to clearly define what we don’t want, which ultimately means we get clearer on what we do want. How can we expand into a more challenging, enjoyable and fulfilling job role without first experiencing some unwanted emotion about the role we are currently in. Finding our perfect partner means that at some point we usually experienced the opposite to know exactly what we are searching for.

Without negative emotion, which is meant to stimulate positive change, our lives would stand still.

Problems arise when we block or deny the emotions for years and dwell in the thoughts too long. A good example would be a person who got divorced five years ago, but is still harbouring negative thoughts towards the ex-spouse and telling the same old story over and over again. We’ve all been here at some point in our lives and we know that we end up feeling bad and preventing something new from coming to us, such as a new mate in this case. On top of this, repetitive negative thinking and focusing, usually means history repeats itself and so in this example we experience a string of unsuccessful relationships just like the first one.

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Achieve a happier state more of the time

  1. Learn to feel emotion and take a few minutes daily to do it. At Peak Of Wellbeing, we coach individuals and groups how to do this, but simply closing your eyes for a few moments and attempting to feel the emotion, usually becomes effective after a period of time.
  2. Do more of the things you love, rather than all of the things you think you should! It sounds easy, but we all know that when people pleasing and feelings of obligation come into play, it’s often harder in reality. So the key is to start small and build up. For example, if a friend invites you to meet up, but you’d prefer to stay home, don’t give a lengthy or made up, justifying reason, just simply say thank you, but you prefer to stay home. Nothing more is needed. When you feel ok about saying no, other people are also ok with your response.
  3. A belief is just a thought you keep thinking, it’s not true. It’s only true if you believe it is. You may say, but I have the evidence! Well, of course, you have the evidence because you keep thinking about it and energising the topic, so nothing changes. At Peak Of Wellbeing we have many techniques to coach individuals and groups how to change unwanted beliefs to more serving beliefs, but simply acknowledging that you have an unwanted belief and wanting to create change, starts the process in the right direction.
  4. Know that we can only feel one emotion in one moment, so desperately trying to write a gratitude list or feel joy when we are in an angry or depressed state,  usually makes us feel worse! This is why happy, bouncy people who try to jolly us out of our current mood can be so irritating! Instead, accept where you are, feel the emotion and know that via this process some relief is around the corner.

If you enjoyed this article, why not join Peak of Wellbeing for our October Transformation Retreat. We can help you achieve a happier state more of the time. Get in touch today!