The news this week reported that an asteroid hit the Earth and another passed by very close to us (by cosmic standards), which got me thinking (and writing in my blog www.maxineharley.com) about the unpredictability and inevitability of our death; and more importantly how we might use this to focus upon making the best of the time we have left – however long or short that might be. We are of course all different and yet we share the same air, the same atoms, and often the same hopes, and ambitions. We come in a wide variety of colours, shapes and sizes and we range from the most callous and cruel folk to the most kind and compassionate. One thing we tend to have in common is a desire to be ‘happy’ – whatever that may mean to us individually.
Life would seem dull, empty, arduous and without meaning or reward if we were not happy at least some of the time; but who’s responsibility is this? Do we look to and expect our government, employers, local authority, charities, family or friends to bring us a life of happiness and ease? Why?
If we passively wait for happiness to come in the form of a rise in income, new home, lottery win, cosmetic surgery or any other hoped-for ‘fix’ then our happiness can only be short lived – like a mirage that fades in time. We become accustomed to, and adjust to our new situation and our level of happiness returns back to our personal ‘base-line’.
It can be tricky to even know what makes us feel happy. It might be something, as in my case, as simple (and free) as a sunny day, children’s laughter, lively conversation with friends, good food and ambient surroundings. These all calm my mind, raise my spirits and release my ‘feel-good’ body chemicals.
We cannot be happy if we are troubled and creating our own internal turmoil with ruminating negative thoughts, or imagining worst-case scenarios, or by replaying the past. These all create in our bodies the chemicals associated with such negative events, thoughts, inner dialogue and imaginings, and which then bathe every cell of our bodies – adversely affecting our health and longevity. Remember, your brain cannot tell the difference between what is real, and what is vividly imagined with the associated feelings. You do, literally, create your own experience of life by what you choose to think about, and how you then express yourself – both in the way you speak to yourself, as well as externally to other people.
There are now well researched and validated ways to increase your own level of happiness – whatever your starting point. These then add to your own base-line level – which has come from your own life experiences and the meanings you have attributed to these. The good news is that you can almost double that base-line by first becoming aware of these significant routes to greater happiness, and by learning how to implement and sustain them in the longer-term – way beyond any familiar quick-fix or temporary distraction.
There is an eight-week group run for up to six people available from ‘The Ripple Effect’ Process called ‘How to be Happier’ and this provides the information, guidance and support needed to help you to create, sustain and live a happier life.
That’s fine for you….but what about other people? Well, you can also evoke happiness in others by RAOK’s….that’s Random Acts Of Kindness. Anything, no matter how small that helps, assists, benefits or encourages another is a priceless gift. Even a friendly smile might make a big difference to someone else’s day. Put it out there and it will come back to you like a slow, yet steady boomerang. The law of resonance and attraction are always being activated, so you might as well make sure it’s a positive message and response.
Life may be short but at least it can be happier – it’s your choice!