Sonja Lyubomirsky, a positive psychology researcher defines happiness as “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.”
Happiness doesn’t come naturally. Your nervous system is wired to keep you safe. Your brain continuously analyses the data coming from your senses (taste, touch, smell, sight, sound) to identify & classify any danger. So, if you can’t stop worrying about things, or you’re overwhelmed by all the problems in your life, it's not your fault.
TRY THIS - close your eyes, take 3 deep breaths and take a moment to have compassion for your nervous system because it’s doing the best it can!
The good news from scientific research in positive psychology is that by engaging in healthy mental & physical habits you can control approximately 40% of your overall happiness.
This reminds me of one of the most popular principles in yoga: “where attention goes, energy flows”. From a yogic perspective, happiness can be seen as the practice of redirecting attention to the good things in your life.
“How can I do it?” You might ask.
Try these 3 practices to help YOU shifting your attention back to happiness:
#1 - Yoga and meditation
Daily yoga and / or meditation are practices that are specifically designed to bring your attention away from the mental chatter and back to the sensations in your body. 5mins of conscious breathing or savasana (lying on your back) will send a message to your brain that all is well, that you are safe, that you can relax. These signals will lessen any sense of worry and anxiety.
#2 - Write down your blessings
Gratitude is one of the easiest ways to shift your attention back to joy. Take your journal and write down 3 things you’re grateful for. Be specific. Write down how that person, situation or thing makes you feel. Let me give you an example:
NOT SPECIFIC - “I’m grateful for my mum”
SPECIFIC - I’m grateful for my mum because she’s always there for me and she makes me feel heard, loved and supported”
#3 - Give to others
Being of service to others has a heart-warming feeling. It instantly brings you back to your happiness trajectory. There are many ways you can give back. You can give your time and / or your uninterrupted attention to your partner, friend or family member. You can give £2 to a street artist. You can smile at someone on the tube. This is a game changer!
Give these practices a try and then let me know how they made you feel?
Leave a comment below or DM me on Instagram
Thanks for reading until the end.
If you want to dive a little deeper into the science of happiness I invite you to join me for Happiness Week, a 7-days online experience starting on the 9th May!
Find more details HERE.
EARLY BIRD BONUS - If you register by the 31st Mar, you'll get a FREE ticket to a Full Moon Online Circle on the 16th May, 6:30pm-7:30pm (BST) - recording available for 7 days.
Until next time,
Be WILD, be YOU!