I found my self doing a “happy dance” this am. It just felt like a great day. I have found that we can choose to be happy. I used to think this was not true. But the more research I have done on happiness and the more life experiences I have had, I do now believe this to be true. In the therapy world we would talk about cognitive behavioral therapy. Basically what we think is what we get. So let’s talk about a few ways to make this shift into the Happiness Mode.
- Decide you want to be happy. Our brain or mind tends to scan for things that are wrong or are a danger. It is a self-protection measure. And maybe necessary at some level, but we don’t want to spend all of our time in this place. So make a decision that being happy is what you want. Because we have to first want something to make it happen. For those of you who are goal directed, you could even say it could be your goal.
- Choose to look at life as Half Full opposed to Half Empty. Many of you are familiar with this metaphor for life. Which way do you look at life in general? If it is in the Half Empty mode, well this may be something to consciously work on. We are talking “attitude” here. It may take a bit of focus to shift but you can do so.
- Visualize, Visualize, Visualize what HAPPY would look like for you. The more you can see this, the more likely you will see this shift taking place. I find it most helpful to structure this into my day. One might consider visualizing before they get out of bed or maybe as they start their day. Ideally you would do this throughout the day for the biggest bang out of this wonderfully, powerful technique
- REFRAME the NEGATIVE stuff. For example you find your favorite restaurant is closed unexpected, so you get to experience a new place. Or maybe your client cancels on you at the last-minute, so this may mean you get to spend a bit of extra time with your family. Or maybe, a project is taking much longer than you want it to, but you find that as it has taken longer it has given you time to really think thoughtfully and come up with ideas that you had not originally thought of.
- Look for the GOOD. Search it out. It is there. Back to our brain scanning for the bad stuff. As you will find it, remind yourself there is good too. And then LOOK for it specifically. Maybe at your meal with your family at the end of the day you can each share something GOOD that happened that day. It can be an encouraging kind of thing, reminding each other that the GOOD is out there. We just have to look for it. Plus what a great way to help kids to shift into the Happiness Mode.
Here is to you doing your own “happy dance” today and every day.