How to Think Your Way to Happiness (1)

Now that the old year is over, our thoughts turn to the new one which beckons, bright, unblemished and as full of possibility as an unopened book.  At this time most of us will be taking stock of our lives; remembering what has past, and contemplating what lies ahead.  Did you celebrate the passing of a year with a champagne toast and a heart full of gratitude for the good times that were had, and the bad times left behind, or did you mourn for the year with a sense of loss, berating the misfortunes you had suffered and the chances missed? Does the thought of the New Year ahead fill you with excitement and enthusiasm, or a sense of heavy dread?

How we think about our lives, the perspectives we take and the conclusions we come to, all drastically effect our ability to enjoy life, no matter what twists and turns of fate may await. So many people allow faulty thinking to keep them fearful, despondent and stuck in old unhelpful patterns. They shrug their shoulders and proclaim their pessimism and gloom is a natural state, as if they were helpless victims of their thoughts! It doesn’t even occur to them that they have a choice in the matter, and it is possible to alter the way you think so that you feel better about your life, even during challenging times.

It always amazes me that we put so much emphasis on teaching children algebra, spelling and computing skills, yet at the same time totally ignore educating them about how to get joy and satisfaction out of the most powerful piece of hardware ever, their brains! Master a few simple programming techniques on your thought patterns and the whole human system will undergo a massive upgrade and function in a way that optimises health and happiness.

Whenever I work with clients at my hypnotherapy practice here in North Somerset, I utilise time both in and out of trance to help my clients master their habitual thought processes in order to gain control over not only unhelpful habits, fears and compulsions, but also those thought patterns that get in the way of them being happy, confident, solution focused individuals. Using a combination of hypnotherapy, neuro linguistic programming and cognitive behavioural interventions, it is possible to re boot your brain, so that it works for you, rather than against you!

One of the simplest ways you can turn your brain into a happiness seeking missile, is to make a conscious effort to notice all the good things in your life, from the green light on your way to work, to the smell of your freshly laundered pillow as you drift of to sleep. The moment you decide to notice and count the blessings in your life, is the same moment that your brain begins to search actively for what makes you happy, setting off a chain reaction that seems to compound and expand the good so that it minimises the bad.  You will find that the more notice you begin to take of life’s little gifts to you, the more there will be to notice. As every dieter knows to their cost, once food becomes the focus of your attention, it will appear everywhere! Luckily the same think goes for smiles, sunshine and moments of bliss!! So start a ‘happiness journal’ today.  Let your creativity run wild with this, personalising your journal with pictures, doodles, inspiring quotes, or whatever makes you smile. The physical act of recording your happiness actually embeds the good feelings deeper into your subconscious, and once you have a happiness journal, you will never be short of something uplifting to read if you are feeling a little down.

Why not resolve to make 2012 the year you decide to take control of your thoughts and programme your brain for happiness? Throughout the next few weeks I’ll be giving you lots more tips to train your brain so that it works for you in ways that you may not have thought possible. But for now, why not spend a little while focusing on what was good about 2011, and being truly thankful for all the small blessings it delivered.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy New Year!