The habit of happiness

Do you want to be, or stay, happy?  I know I do.  Being happy is a habit.  Why not get some of it for yourself?

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I’m a fan of Richard Branson, his outlook on life, personal growth and business.  His blog posts are always rewarding.  I read today his post where he attributes his business success to choosing (yes, choosing) to be happy; ‘I am successful, wealthy and connected because I am happy.’

Branson’s view resonates deeply with me and I know I won’t be alone in that.  We all too often rush to that unresourceful state of ‘unhappy’ (or worse) and can dwell there all too long.  This state of unhappiness will be serving a purpose: you might derive a sense of love and connection through the sympathy of others, for instance, but all this is low quality ‘attention’.  Choosing a state of happiness will get you high quality attention.  Personal and work relationships will improve; they will choose to be around you, a happier state of mind and body also brings with it incredible health benefits, as well as the ability to do so much more with the clearer mind that comes from this place.

Our language leads our unconscious minds to determine that there is nothing we can do about our emotions.  Changing how we think about our state of minds, in the moment, could be all it takes to make the difference.  It isn’t that you are unhappy, you are doing unhappiness; let me explain.

What do you do when you are unhappy?  How does your body feel? Where in your body are you breathing from, how do you hold yourself and where do you focus your vision and your thoughts? What do you say to yourself?

Now, consider the same questions for when you are or have been absolutely ecstatic? What are the differences? We all ‘do’ our emotions, and changing state is a mere habit change.

Give it a try, the next time you feel an unresourceful emotion creeping in, change your whole state.  Hold yourself in the way you know you do when you are happy, change your breathing, shift your focus and notice how, in the blink of an eye, you can truly chose to be happy.

Just imagine what you could do now in the future if you choose to be happy! Give it a go, consider all that you have to gain! Commit to a week; when you feel yourself dwelling on an unhappy thought, know that there is a different choice to be made and focus your attention on a happy thought instead.  Choose something memorable. Something from your past that made you absolutely utterly happy, where you were laughing out loud – hold that memory as your go to place in your head, then, once you’ve done it for a week, push it two, a month, two months. 

How different would your life be?

Let me know how you get on.

p.s. Know that it’s ok to remember happy thoughts from your past, even if they include people who are no longer in your life.  Don’t strip yourself of the happiness, the only person you punish, by doing that is you.