As I was going through my notes and reflecting over my discussion on happiness with other coaches, I realized I needed to write down and share informally a few of my ideas in this article/blog.
Unveiling the secret of happiness is perhaps what most of us want. No matter how rich or poor you are, what your level in the work hierarchy is, or your status in society…It requires self-reflection.
As you enter into an introspective mode, you realize that happiness is internal, it depends on yourself, and it’s up to you to create it.
Yes, your own happiness is your own responsibility: to create it, to push for it, to embellish it, and to a certain extent, to pretend it.
The DNA of Happiness:
Happiness is unique to each one of us like our DNA is. Different things make different people happy. You know yourself. Follow your intuition and be tuned to your inner self. Don’t let people judge you for what makes you happy and don’t feel guilty for your choices either. We all have different needs and circumstances so what makes others happy can leave you “emotionless” and visa versa.
Identify Your Needs:
Sometimes, our level of (un) happiness is a signal that there is a need (un) covered. We all have different needs, and some are less fulfilled than others. It can be a need for safety, recognition, belonging…or just a physiological need such as loss of energy due to lack of sleep, or minor illness. Perhaps it is time for a check up on what is dragging you up and what is dragging you down.
What did you learn about yourself? What skill did you develop?
What resources did you use? What obstacles did you overcome?
Overcoming the need: what steps you can take onwards.
Pushing for Happiness:
I believe in the power of small wins: happiness comes through an accumulation of small happy events. “Yes, but how does it work exactly?” One can ask.
As you are responsible for how you slip things in your mind, process the information, and emotionally relate to it; it primarily depends on you to push for happiness.
Focus and be mindful of the moment.
Take a deep breath and use your 5 senses and appreciate what is surrounding you (nature, people…).
Have and express gratitude.
Be generous and giving of yourself. It starts with a smile, with a handshake, and asking people how they are doing today. How much energy and money does it cost you?
It’s like building muscle mass. Don’t we say, “Practice makes perfect”? It’s not the intensity of the happiness, but its frequency. To develop a happier mind, start a routine with a daily exercise:
Be self-aware of what made you happy, and when?
Be self-aware of what made you unhappy, and when?
What was your stress level? Sleep level? Who did you meet?
Based on that information, what can you do about it and condition yourself to make yourself happy?
Commit to practice positivity daily, first thing in the morning.
Pretend it…and Use Empathy:
Yes…I said pretend happiness, not fake it. We all have our dark and gloomy moods, and events that cause fear, anger and frustration, don’t we all? But we also all have the inner power to blow away these dark clouds.
After acknowledging your unhappy moment and how it affects your behavior, take a deep breath and tell yourself: “ok, this happened, now it’s my choice to spoil my mood (which can lead to a bad decision) or to bounce back.”
Moreover, empathy is contagious, the more and the stronger you express it, the more empathic those around you become. Have your self-talk: “yes, I am going to change my mood” and express yourself in the most authentic way:
Use humor; and smile, it’s contagious…even over the phone
Build eye contact and have the right body posture
Use positive vocabulary
Give recognition to someone and mean it. Start with the simplest thing you can say.
Try it; it won’t cost you anything.
Work on Your Inner Self:
Working on your inner self during dark moments requires you two things: building your resilience while remaining optimistic. In the face of events, it is your level of optimism that determines, how deep you let the negative emotion highjack your brain, and especially, how fast you bounce back from it. Optimism is like the helping hand that pulls you up after each fall.
Acknowledge your unhappiness by admitting you are upset.
Write down what upset you and reread yourself.
Separate facts from emotions.
Frame that emotion and ask yourself why are you feeling it. Dig as much as you need to get to the bottom of it.
Use perspective taking and change lens: will it matter in six months? What can I learn from this situation? What exactly will I do better next time? Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and think, how she/he might be right.
Talk about it factually and constructively (without ruminating).
Sketch out all possible and creative alternatives and solutions – mind map them.
So, is happiness still a secret, or you actually have the power to do something about it? How will you create your own happiness today?
I hope you enjoyed the read (I didn’t realize it’s a little longer than I imagined). Hope the information is helpful to you.
Have a lovely day.
Certified Master Coach
International Coaching Solutions