How Happy Are You?
Contentment is not happiness…it is being content. There is nothing wrong with being content but how about being happy? When people come to my workshop I ask them what they would like to accomplish or get from participating in the workshop. Many times what it boils down to is, “I really just want to be happy. It is strange I am not really unhappy but there seems to be something missing for me, and it feels like, I am not as happy as I can be.” I can certainly relate; I was once there in my life.
Does your life fall into being content which is somewhere between unhappy and happy? Do you feel that things really aren’t bad; life is ok, but… And after that you slip into feeling guilty that you aren’t being grateful for where you are and what you have in your life?
My intention in this article is not to bring you closer to unhappiness but rather to give you a way to find your happiness on a new level.
One of the things that changed my world around from contentment to happiness was realizing what was happening when I truly felt happy. It was very surprising to me as I personally walked this journey. These steps made such a difference for me. I share them with you today with the knowledge that should you take on this challenge, you will be present to what is happy and what is content so you can make the switch for yourself.
5 New Steps To Happiness…
Being happy clearly is a matter of choice. However, you must learn when and why you make the choice to be happy or to not be happy. Let these 5 steps help you get to your happiness.
Step 1: For the next 7 days keep a journal or make a list of what you are doing when you feel happy. Examples: When I workout I feel so happy. When I get the things done in the day that I say I am going to do, I feel happy. Planning time to be with my husband and doing it…I feel happy. By making this list you will begin to see what your thoughts are when you are happy. There will be a common thread that will begin to surface. One of my common threads is: “I am happy when I accomplish what I set out to do.”
Step 2: Include in your journal the specific body sensations you are having during the times you feel happy. Body sensations are not emotional descriptions. They are exact physical responses in your body. Example: My shoulders feel lighter. I am feeling relaxed in my body. My face is feeling lighter. Joy is present and I feel giggly inside. I can feel myself smiling on the inside. The tightness I feel when I am stressed is gone. I am clear to do what’s next.
Step 3: Become acutely aware of when you are having thoughts that do not generate the body sensations that you feel when you are happy. Here’s an example of thoughts: “I am not happy because of what you did. I can’t enjoy myself with I am around this person. I can’t seem to get anything done with all these interruptions.” Then notice how the body sensations begin to revert to the very opposite of what they were when you felt happiness.
Step 4: Ask yourself this question, “What do I gain by focusing on any thought that is not consistent with my desire for happiness?” When being extremely honest with yourself in this step….you will find that there is a BIG payoff for you that keeps you engaged with pointing outside of yourself for the cause of your unhappiness, or for the reason you can’t be happy. Generally, the payoff is that you don’t have to take responsibility for your own happiness. Maybe for you, you get attention from others…the list of payoffs can be quite long. Maybe you think the other person will suffer if you blame them for your unhappiness. Regardless to your “reasons” every single one of them takes away your happiness. Find your payoff and you’ll find your happiness.
Step 5: Make a list of self-appreciation and gratitude statements for every time you make a new choice to experience happiness rather than unhappiness. You are the one that creates your own happiness and your own unhappiness. And the sooner you can come to appreciate the value of this process, the sooner you can be grateful for living your days filled with happiness.
Step Into Your Happiness!