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Protecting your happiness

Health has to be related to happiness. It is a biological reality that one is not sustainable without the other. So lets talk about happiness…

Happiness is a word thrown around a bit like its a sweetie or like its something you can own. The impression we get about happiness is that either you have it or you don’t.

I wanted to take a few of your precious moments to let you in on something I have found out, after years of trying to find it.

You cannot simply be happy or have happiness. It is not something you chose one day and then you live happily ever after. I believe this notion has come from fairytales (but that conversation is for another time over a cuppa!)

After years of working with clients and just generally being observant around people and also my own journey of life, the way I now see happiness is this:

It is like a child, loved one, or a friend…if you don’t put effort in to protect and nurture that relationship it doesn’t thrive. The person will generally still be around (not always) but you don’t get anything out of the relationship. When you do proactively decide to work on building the bond between you, it takes time. At first the connection is fragile and can be disturbed by many factors. Some days it is easy and you laugh, smile and feel alive and others not so much. Eventually, if you have worked on that relationship enough, the silences feel like a golden web of support, just a look can give you the strength you need to get through a day and there is a reciprocal feedback loop that nourishes you both with very little effort.

If you do not make a conscious effort to protect your happiness you are likely to become sad.

Sounds obvious. I urge you to read it again and again until the depth of that sentence becomes real to you.

The way we currently live our lives; working hours, no time spent outdoors, late nights, late mornings, poor nutrition, stress, money worries, poor health, screen time, sedentary, the news, busy, rushed, self imposed beliefs/expectations, responsibilities, excess alcohol, gambling, addictions, poor quality relationships, etc etc etc…..means we must must must protect our precious happiness. Almost everything is trying to steal our smiles.

However….now you know this, you have great power.

In a nutshell, the neurotransmitters (feel good chemicals) in your brain need you to protect them. They are super smart and can do most of the work themselves but they need your help. Put practices in place to allow them to flourish. Think of it as a metaphorical ‘moat around your castle’!

For me this looks like:

  • a regular sleep/wale cycle

  • saying no to things

  • resting more often

  • good food and drink choices

  • going home ‘before the party is over’

  • podcasts/books/positive social media accounts

  • mindful practices every day and at least 3 x meditations a week

  • getting to know my menstrual cycle

  • drinking a lot less

  • morning light (outside or red light therapy)

  • deep conversations about things i care about

  • supplements

  • surrounding myself with people/things that feed my joy

  • scheduling in fun things

  • having treats

There is no singular thing that can/will bring about happiness. No pill, practice, meditation, food.

We don’t ‘find’ happiness.

Over the years I have seen……the ‘perfect’ diet, 7 days meditation, juice retreats, exceptional physical appearance, dry January, etc ….all these attempts only bring about fleeting peace. It’s a combination of repeated daily choices that tell the nervous system that it is safe. Your joy is hidden in a nervous system that feels it is not under threat.

It takes time. At first your peace will feel fragile and the practices you put into place will be easily disturbed but keep protecting it. Over time, a web of silent strength starts to give you more inner joy than you ever thought possible. You will even have some to spare.

It has taken me 37 years to even feel capable of writing something like this to help others. I do not get it right all the time and I am still learning. I am no different to everyone else.

If there is only one thing you take away from this article let it be this:

You will never own happiness, just like you don’t own a child, lover, friend or family but you would protect them right?

Start with one thing today. Contact us today.

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