How is your Happy?
Earlier this week , a statement from an interview on the radio grabbed my attention. The interviewee stated that "lack of happiness is a result of getting or not getting what we want."
Wait, I thought, if I suddenly became a best selling author that wouldn't make me happy? "I don't think so," I said back to the radio. Later the same day the ice breaker question in a networking group was what song makes you happy? OK, I thought, there's definitely a theme here, perhaps I need to check in with my personal happiness radar.
Several years ago I wrote a weekly blog called 100 steps to happiness. It had a regular audience and a common question that readers posted was how can I get my happiness back. A life event, grief, loss or ageing had, in their opinion, made them loose their happy.
I decided to do some research, realizing that I too was now less happy than I had been and it wasn't all down to isolation and Covid. During the research I came across an article by Annie Stuart. Her hypothesis suggests that by attempting to remove certain barriers, we can experience true happiness. The sort of happy that makes you feel content and peaceful with who you are, rather than bouncing off the walls.
Barrier 1 - Complexity - make things simpler. Reduce what you expect of yourself and others, perhaps simplifying your lifestyle.
Barrier 2 - Fast Pace - reduce the speed of what you do and when you do it. Pause, take a break from being on the computer, answering emails etc. Make a regular date with yourself to take a walk in the country or at the beach without any distractions. Literally look at the ground as you walk.
Barrier 3 - Negativity - letting go of critical thoughts about yourself. This can be hard, especially when those thoughts have been around for a while, but working at seeing yourself differently will make a huge difference.
And suddenly the light clicked on to what the interviewee meant. If I continued learned and historical negative beliefs, then of course, despite getting what I want, I won't feel happy, although the word I prefer, is content. For me that's a better fit than happy. And, as I start on the third book in the Rose McLaren series I do so with a bit more of a song in my heart.
And as for the song that makes me feel happy- well it was tough to choose only one, so I gave them three. I hope you enjoy them.
https://youtu.be/J7ATTjg7tpE Oye Como Va
https://youtu.be/Fmfi3UbDPnQ Brown Sugar
https://youtu.be/qWG2dsXV5HI My Favourite Things
By the way, I would love to know what songs or things you do to help your happiness radar.