Stay with me! This is not a fluffy story about happiness….. although, let’s begin with the question of, “what is happiness?” Well, it is quite simply a “state”, an “emotion”. And, if you Google the word “happiness”, this is what pops up.
NOUN: the state of being happy.
contentment · pleasure · contentedness · satisfaction · cheerfulness · cheeriness · merriment· gaiety · joy · joyfulness · joyousness · joviality · jollity · jolliness · glee · carefreeness gladness· delight ·high spirits
Is happiness a choice, as previously mentioned? Yes, it is, as long as you are in an emotional state that can “access” happiness. Sometimes, people are feeling emotions that are a little further away from the state of happiness. What we are seeking is for people to be able to make a small shift closer towards a higher level of happiness. Life happens and is fragile. As Susan David says.
“You are happy until you are not.
You are with people you love, until you are not.
You have a job you love, until you don’t”
Listening to people’s recent experience and how tough it has (and still is) for many people out there. It is important to recognise that your emotions are there to help you understand what is going on for you. Do not sweep your emotions under the carpet. Ignoring emotions will not help build resilience and wellbeing. Learn from the emotions you are feeling and begin to learn to shift yourself higher up the scale of happiness. This will take practice, daily practice.
I would like to offer you a simple way of shifting your happiness along with helping another. What if I suggested to you that it only takes 10 seconds with someone to make them happy, would you be interested in making a difference to someone’s life today?
The phrase “What goes around comes around” has a neurological basis to it. We have something called “mirror neurons” in our brains. When we experience emotions such as joy or peace, the person interacting with us will gradually shift to the same state and that in turn will fuel our own happiness, creating a virtuous cycle. By looking into a “happy” face and genuinely connecting with that person, you will begin to feel happier.
Today make someone happy by investing just 10 seconds of genuine time with them and being intent to bringing a smile to their face.
Whoever you connect with today, the cashier, the bin person, your partner, your colleague, your swimming partner, your friend who you’ve recently had a scrap with, your boss, the stranger in the street. Find a way to bring a smile to their face by simply connecting with them. You could just smile, or you could tell them what you value within them. Don’t overthink it. Transmit appreciation, gratitude or joy.
How many people will you shift today by giving just 10 seconds of genuine time? For each person your mirror neurons will reward you too. Enjoy the process.