Happiness: A Worthwhile Mission

Imagine taking control of your happiness and not leaving it to chance, to the weather, what other people say and do, or what kind of mood your boss is in. Imagine most moments of the day, days of the week, and months of the year, your happiness is an eight or above, on a ten-point scale, regardless of the external aspects of your life. Maybe you would rate yourself an eight or above now. That’s wonderful because those around you are benefiting along with you.

The happiest ten countries in the world in 2019, cited in the annual World Happiness Report, may not surprise you. They are Austria (10), Canada (9), New Zealand (8), Sweden (7), Switzerland (6), Netherlands (5), Iceland (4), Norway (3), Denmark (2) and the #1 spot goes to Finland.

The U.S. came in 18th place. That’s down 4 positions from the year before. While the U.S. got richer, it got a bit unhappier. Do not despair if you don’t live in one of the happiest places in the world. You can still be one of the happiest people for miles around.

I’ve learned that happiness is much less an outside job and much more an inside one. People with far less than I have ever had, have been happier than I have been at times in my life. I see smiles on faces of people who are poor, yet radiate joy. I’ve watched people with life threatening illnesses demonstrate extraordinary appreciation and generosity as they go through their most difficult days.

I’ve also come to learn, as a HeartMath® Certified Coach for almost 20 years that we can feel happiness more often than we feel unhappiness, regardless of circumstances and events of the day.

Happiness is largely a choice and game changer as it relates to our health and well-being, performance, and relationships. Many will scoff at this idea and might reply, “yeah right, you don’t have my job,” or “my bills,” or “my children.”

Got it, and please stay open just a bit longer before you check out entirely on my “happiness is a choice” notion—regardless of circumstances.

Try this quick HeartMath® technique:

1. Focus your attention in the area of the heart. Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual. Find an easy rhythm that’s comfortable.

You might notice already you have slowed things down internally, the chatter in your head is quieting down or gone, and you’re feeling calmer and more peaceful.

2. Make a sincere attempt to experience a regenerative feeling such as appreciation or care for someone or something in your life.

Continue to feel feelings of care and appreciation for someone or something as you breathe in and out of your heart (45 seconds or more).

Now, notice how you feel physically? More relaxed, shoulders down, less tension in your neck, gut, chest, or back?

How about mentally? Is it quieter up there? Perhaps you notice your mind is clearer, maybe even a blank slate.

And emotionally, what emotion are you feeling? Peace, joy, love, compassion? Happiness perhaps?

Compare that feeling to the feeling just a few minutes ago when you might have been thinking that life kind of sucks right now, or your boss is a pain in the you know what, or the kids are driving you crazy. All that still remains—the job, the boss, and the kids, yet we can shift our feelings to positive ones, in just seconds to a few minutes, as we shift to the heart and feelings of appreciation.

So, while circumstances might seem daunting, that doesn’t mean you have to feel overwhelmed. Hope knows know particular circumstances. Peace is always there for those who choose it. A kind response to an angry one is always an option when life is lived from the heart. The HeartMath quick tool allows you to get there anytime, anywhere.

Remember this formula: E+R=O. Event plus Response = Outcome. Your response is what creates your life. The three-step HeartMath technique will change your responses on demand, and your life!

Just like choosing more salads vs. cheeseburgers, water vs. soda, and an apple vs. a candy bar, you will feel and see results rather quickly in your health, relationships, productivity, and life as you shift to positive responses. How do we do that?

We begin with our feelings and as we learn to activate positive feelings throughout the day and during stressful times, we see how this shift to a positive feeling in just seconds to a minute, changes our responses. Within time, our brain processes the events in our lives (the ‘E’ part of the formula above) differently, slows down and allows for a more well-thought-out response, one best for all concerned.

Here’s some more good news. The body craves what you give it. So once you start drinking more water, you crave it. Once you choose vegetables over the pizza, you will want less pizza and more vegetables. Give your body the good stuff and in a short amount of time that’s what your body will crave.

When you start and end your day feeling appreciative and hopeful (use the three step HeartMath technique above if you like), renew your energy throughout the day (again with this three-step technique), along with that bowl of oatmeal and berries or salad, you will have the energy not only to face the day, you’ll have the energy to create the kind of day that makes you happy.

And once you have the full steps down, all you have to remember are the Quick Steps:

• Heart-focused breathing

• Activate a positive or renewing feeling

A change of heart truly changes everything!

Take Laurie’s Personal Health Assessment: http://bit.ly/2NRVGlj and get a free 40-minute Personal Health Consult to determine your best opportunities to create optimal health and well-being.

HeartMath is a registered trademark of Quantum Intech, Inc.

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