I would just like to apologise for not having posted for a while. It’s been a really challenging week, I’ve had lots on, and I’ve been in Manchester with work for the most part, with early morning starts and super late evenings.
That isn’t to say that I haven’t been putting into practice the hints and tips that I’ve been getting from the Happynesshub. In fact they’ve been a lifesaver – I’ve been looking forward to them every morning and they have added a happy dimension to my otherwise stressful and quite serious week. Here, in a nutshell is how I’ve found the past few days:-
Magical Marta’s ‘Moving’ Meditations
The meditations have helped so much, I’ve been doing the movement ones and I’ve found that they are so good for releasing the physical stress, whilst Sally’s videos really add value to why we’re doing the tasks and I love hearing the research behind them.
Day 7 – Don’t compare yourself to others
In my early teens I was the typical teenage comparison Queen. I was constantly poring over magazines admiring all the glamorous ladies but in turn never feeling quite good enough in comparison (it was the era of Dallas and Dynasty on TV and I wanted to be Joan Collins when I grew up, lol! Yes really!)
Later in life I worked really hard to release these physical comparisons and succeeded, but every now and then a life situation would occur that would make me want to compare myself to the situation in hand. And if I did, I’d nearly always feel less happy because comparing and experiencing your perceived shortcomings is quite frankly not much fun and it pushes the lack of what you’re feeling to the forefront of your life experience.
I’ve always been an optimist and eventually, the sun in my mind would always come out and shine over my cloudy grey thoughts and I’d end up soothing myself with thinking about the things I had in my life to feel grateful for.
In short, the most important lesson I learnt about comparing yourself to others, was to try wherever possible to feel so thankful and give gratitude for every little thing in your life that there was to feel grateful for and focus on that and that only, leaving you with no time or mental headspace at all to entertain the negative emotion of comparisons. Every now and then something comes up in life that will make me want to see how I measure up, but straight away I know what I have to do in order to be happy, just where I am.
Day 8 – Decide how happy you are going to be
This was an interesting exercise – I didn’t know how was going to turn out….choosing a level of happiness from 1-10, but nevertheless thought great! Let’s go for a 9!
I hadn’t ever really decided to be happy based on a number but this was pure genius!. As the day went on, and challenges came up I realised that I was going to stay at a 9 despite what was going on. I am so surprised at how committed I was to keeping my happiness levels up there. Fantastic exercise and I will totally use this going forward!
Day 9 – Kindness
“Sprinkle kindness like confetti”
I welcomed today’s challenge with glee! Because I just love being kind and it makes me feel good to be – and I think it may also be just a little bit addictive!
Turns out Sally’s video, is, as always spot on about us doing things for others but imparting feeling good feelings for us all. Both the ‘dooer’ and the ‘dooee’ get to feel great. You’re doing kind things for the person but the magic is that you get to benefit too.
I paid heartfelt compliments to my ‘frolleagues’ (friend + colleague) all day- sometimes I’ll think about it but won’t find the time to communicate my thoughts. One was wearing a pair of shoes I loved, the other’s hair looked lovely. Someone in the office ran out of milk, so I went and got her some – she was so thankful.
I think the natural setting of human beings is to give and as a result it gives us happy hearts! Today’s exercise made me aware of what I was doing and how that made me feel and I certainly didn’t know the reasons behind it so thank you Sally for sharing!
Day 10 – Self compassion – for one day try not to say or think negative things about yourself
The explanation from Sally was exquisite about the difference between self compassion and self esteem and it was really enlightening. Please check out the video if you haven’t seen it already.
I read in a magazine years ago that you should try to treat yourself as much as possible as you would a friend, and this little piece of advice resonated with me so much that I committed it to heart and just kept trying to put it into practice until it became natural. It came into my life at a time where I was not kind to myself at all, and any thoughts I had about myself were not good ones so it couldn’t have been more needed at the time.
I think the basic task of this day was to extend the same kindness that you would to a dear friend. So much easier said than done, especially as your inner chatter is going on all day and some of it is just not positive. But if we do persevere something amazing happens, and little by little, as you soothe yourself, you just get to feel better in your own skin and that in turn has the beautiful advantage of growing your heart even more to love more about yourself and others!
Day 11 – Positive speech – when talking be aware of your language and see if you can adjust your words to avoid all negativity.
I had great fun with this today and not only did I use much softer language to soothe myself around the edges, but additionally I completely made words up too (I love making up words). This exercise also really made me think about my most intense emotions where I wanted to be able to express how I felt in a positive way, especially when diffusing some of the work day’s intense stresses!
Even better if they made me giggle! Here are just a few:-
“Ooooh I am just so irrimatated” (irritated – see what I did there? I added an extra syllable but it makes my most negative, most used word instantly hilarious!)
“I’m stressimacated coconut!” (for stressed out, lol!)
“I’m so fangry!!!” (frustrated + angry, even though I know it sounds so ‘vampire-y’ but every time I used it through the day it was just so funny that it had me rolling around laughing and forgetting about the problem in hand!)
Try saying these out loud and I challenge you not to laugh! So alongside using softer language to soften the impact, I found that making up some words to healthily express myself not only helped me to, but also had the added bonus of making me LOL!
Day 12- Write down ten songs that make you happy- play one of them today!
Can I please just say I’m with Sally on this one. Copacabana rocks, Barry Manilow is a legend and Sally I think you have amazing musical taste! I was a bit resistant to the exercise today to be honest.
At first about changing my morning routine, (I listen to ‘Abraham’ the teacher every morning) and I definitely didn’t think that I would have a minute for some boogie whilst getting ready for work….but turns out I did. And I loved it. I do this around the house when I’m cleaning, cooking or ironing, but I’ve never done it in the morning before…..by the time I’d had a dance about to three songs, I actually wondered why I don’t do this every morning! So thank you Happynesshub for the awesome idea of doing this first thing. I’ll definitely be incorporating this into my routine – just not when I’m applying my mascara!!