So, this is a unique post of the blog as it is a how to not the usual narrative.
Hope you don't mind; a blog should never have to be restricted to one article type 100% of the time, right?
Anyway, today's post is about being happy by doing state changes.
Something I learned years ago, at Free Spirit Girl, courtesy of the charismatic and mindfully happy Katie Pitsis.
I could really benefit from today, as I have a terrible habit of being so negative all the time.
It ain't helping me health at all.
So, I thought I'd not just write about it, but also practice it as I write, to actually play the part.
Right back after a quick state change.
Note: I only remember 2/3 of the steps, but that's okay because you only need to get the gist, not the whole formula.
Here's the low down, and I don't think it particularly matters which order you do 'em in;
Change your focus.
Basically, think positive thoughts!
Make a conscious effort to think of things to be happy about, however small.
Is the weather lovely?
Did your employer commend you of a job well done?
Are you about to travel some place new and exotic?
Simple things like have you got food in your belly, a roof over your head and a warm bed to snuggle in each night?
There is always a reason to be grateful, whether it's as simple as having the means to survive or elaborate as having the extra means to eat at restaurants and travel the world.
Even people in the poorest of conditions can find a reason to smile, so those of us with more than enough basically have no excuse but to be happy.
There is always a reason to be happy.
|You can be happy about the simple things like sunshine!|
Now, you can practice this principle on social media!
Go on Instagram and boldly unfollow all the accounts that make you grumbly, jealous, anxious or downright depressed.
Just bloody unfollow.
You don't need that rubbish in your life.
Have fun scrolling through an Instagram homepage that is now clean from the poisonous posts that slap you in the face.
Anytime you do still find a post that sets you off, you know the drill.
|Family holiday in Europe. We visited a family we knew in Switzerland when the snow was solid. Here is my father and the father of the host family. Looks like they are hygge-ing like pros; more on that later.|
As for Pinterest, it's a little bit different.
In the earlier days of Pinterest, I mainly used it to pin pretty pictures that I loved and that depicted my hopes and dreams.
Nowadays interest is a bit more complex, and annoying;
Firstly, while I still love pinning pins that make my heart sing, I now mainly use it to promote my blog on group boards.
This comes with the responsibility to repin others on the group, and it's hard to find a single pin that I actually want on my account.
I do find one if I look hard enough;
My criteria is that it is to be uplifting and positive, non-religious, ideally just a clean photo with no graphics or minimal, neat and pretty graphics if anything.
Most pins have graphics these days, so it's the pretty pictures with little or no graphics that stand out to me.
I am happy to be a member of a billion Pinterest group boards (a leading way to bring blog traffic and turn your blog into a business), it just means I have to put up with unhappy, frightening and annoying posts to find the few that I am actually happy to repin.
Thankfully, I only need to support the blogs I would want to read, and other members of the group might want to pin the pins that I find to be too thought provoking, obnoxious pr I just don't like it.
Perhaps a story for another time.
As for the homepage on Pinterest, it's unfortunately changed for the worse;
It's spammed to the max with annoying pins;
Like the pin of a diagram of an organ swarming with parasites and a photo of a tongue full of Candida, to scare you about sugar consumption or whatever.
Makes me shiver.
But I don't have to rep in, or even look at, the ones I don't like.
So how to use Pinterest in a way that makes you happy?
Only pin what uplifts you, and scroll straight past the ones that make you feel yucky.
So you can be happier by changing your focus to be more positive.
You might have learned that a billion times growing up, but it's true.
So go and filter out what you look at and engage with on social media, and think about all you have to be grateful for.
|Fairytale home in Alsace, France around Christmas time. Magical. Just a pretty pic to add here.|
Now on to...
Changing your position.
Change the way you are physically positioned.
We have muscle memory, which basically means that our brains associate certain positions with certain feelings.
Slouching, frowning and groaning is often associated with grumpiness.
Stomping, bashing and throwing can be associated with anger and frustration.
So whenever our bodies are slouching or bashing things, it tells our brains to feel grumpy or frustrated.
No one wants to feel that way, right?
So what if I told you that you have a choice on how you feel?
What if you don't have to feel depressed and angry and call that normal?
Change your physical state into happy!
Here's a fun game to do just that:
Grin from ear to ear, gaze at the ceiling, outstretch your arms and imagine you're off to Paris while you feel depressed inside.
Go on, feel depressed as your body acts like it's on cloud nine!
If you're in public and you ain't down for drawing awkward attention, just be subtle and hold your head high, smile lightly, shoulders back, hands clutched and looking up at the sky; whatever position you would be in if you were having a good day.
That's how you have a good day; physically position yourself like you are having a good day, or even the time of your life, and you will have a bloody good day.
|Looks like I was happy there. I could position my body and face like this to become happy again like I was then.|
Additional step: bring in the hygge!
Was not in the lesson, but last year I was introduced to the concept of hygge.
Hygge is a Danish word for the warm and content feeling in your heart when you chill out by a bonfire with your loved ones, zen out your home with candles and flowers and hop into bed early.
Traditionally, hygge implies cosying up in the winter, so think snuggling up with a pot of tea by the fire in an over-sized sweater with an equally warming book while it's blisteringly cold outside.
That is a classic example, but it's not reserved for the wintertime.
It's a lifestyle.
There are tonnes of practical ways to hygge up your daily life;
Light some candles any time of the day where safe and permitted; in the mornings over breakfast and coffee (apparently normal in Scandinavia, even in the summer!), before you go to bed to set the tone and just for the fun of it!
Buy some flowers.
Put that bunch of flowers at your desk. It can actually help you be more productive, motivated and calm!
Go to bed early.
Be like the supposed Danish and leave work on time, or early!
Make and eat something delicious.
Sip your coffee.
Finally book that ticket to Paris or wherever the heck else you wanna fly!
|My favourite city. Went there in 2013. Planning to sneak a little detour there in my 2017 Euro trip. Mwahaha. Coming up on the blog is my 2017 travel plans, so stay tuned!|
The possibilities are as big as the sky.
Hygge is a Danish tradition, and Denmark is the happiest country in the world.
You too can practice hygge and be the happiest person in the world, without having to become a Danish citizen.
|Just light some candles. So simple, so hygge.|
So that is three ways to be happy that doesn't have to cost the earth! Change your focus to be positive and uplifting, change your body position into a happy one and bring the notorious (jokes) life changing hygge into your life!
See what they mean when they say that money don't buy happiness?
Unless it's plane tickets. Or food. Or coffee. Or booze. Or candles. Or tea.
|Sippin' on rose at a VIP lounge in Sydney|
|Calming chamomile tea at The Happy Frog. You too can be happy like that frog!|
|So matcha love for this life changing ice cream! Find this bliss at Chanoma Cafe in Sydney. It's not Danish, but it's hygge!|
But the first two steps are free, and the third, can be free!