Brushing up our Happiness Habits

art collage with beautiful womanThe alarm blares its wake up sound and another day begins and your eyes begrudgingly  open up as you slowly meander out of a sleepy state. This is a pretty common event day after day ,week after week and one most people pay absolutely no attention to .In fact most people I talk to dread this part of the day and are constantly starting the day with resistance.

You get out of bed and go about the start up routine of the day. Breakfast (which can all too often be coffee ) Facebook check in then the morning ablutions of wash,get dressed, brush teeth and so it goes. Its automatic , its been drummed into us from when we were very young  with the list of tasks before you leave the house  ” Have you brushed your teeth? Do you have clean undies on? Did you go to the toilet? Is your room tidy…do you have your lunch “.  We are on auto pilot from years of habit to just go through life.

But if you were to take a moment and ask yourself  “Did you stop and brush up your happiness habit this morning ?” What would be your response? You’re probably wondering ” What the heck is that?” and “Why would it be worth focusing on?”

So let me explain.

We never leave the house with out getting dressed, we ensure our  basic hygiene or nutritional needs  are cared for and do our ablutions otherwise its very uncomfortable getting through the day. If we neglect regular diet, exercise or basic hygiene  the impact can be not just painful and smelly but incredibly expensive. But we take for granted our mental – emotional hygiene and expect to get through the day or week only to  then wonder why we are anxious, frustrated, tired and negative. Our habits tend to be automatic and familiar rather than effective and helpful.

All you need to start with is 5 minutes each morning of brushing, feeding and cleaning your happiness habit to create a knock on effect through the day which builds upon its self over time. Its not some big once a year or month rediscover, but the small and consistent steps towards creating long lasting change as Mel Robbins of The 5 Second Rule fame says “That’s what it takes to get what you want. Not big scary leaps once a year. It takes small, but irritating moves every single day.” 
― Mel RobbinsStop Saying You’re Fine: Discover a More Powerful You

It’s not as basic as, “Just do it.” If it were then the self help industry wouldn’t exist because everyone would be getting past their procrastination and fears.There’s something really important we need to understand and has to happen before we can take action, and that is that we must learn to conquer our own feelings.

Because of the way your brain is wired, when your thoughts and feelings are at war, when there is a debate between what you know you should be doing and what you  feel like doing, your feelings are always going to win. We have what is termed the divided brain https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-divided-mind/201207/logic-and-emotion  and research suggests 80% ( yes thats correct 80%) of choices are based on our emotions not our objective or rational brain.If you don’t feel like doing it, you won’t do it. Your rational brain says “get up and go for that walk its good for you” but your sleepy emotions say ” Nah stay in bed, have another coffee, do some Facebook stalking” our emotional brain wins time and time again.

So how do we change this imbalance and help brush up on our happiness habits? Firstly dont expect to FEEL motivated in the moment and understand you cant control how you feel but you can control how you think and act. I’ve included some simple starters to help you create your own happiness habits and get creative.

  • Instead of reaching for a social media zombie  fix actually reach out to someone and connect.
  • Get up and get moving! Early morning exercise has massive benefits from kick starting your metabolism,increasing mental agility, shifting our brain from sleep state into awake, improves sleeps and it goes on. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/9-really-good-reasons-exercise-early-morning-ncna795656
  • Begin a gratitude morning routine of naming 3 things you are grateful in your life even before you get out of bed
  • Take time to journal or jot down/take mental note/write it on your mirror  one focus point for the day .
  • Read/listen or watch something uplifting.motivating or inspiring ( Ted Talks or Bored Panda are fantastic   links are here  https://carolinewilliamsnz.com/resources-and-helpful-links/anxiety/ )
  • Do a self talk check in and if your already negative ask yourself whats an alternative, what can I focus on that will bring me happiness. remeber the way we start our day is often the way we live our day.
  • Act of kindness ( tell someone you love/care or think they have done a great job) this boost our happy chemicals and others so its win win.

So my challenge for each of you reading this blog is to include in your daily routine some brushing up of your happiness habits and after 4 weeks notice the changes in your mental state and emotional wellness.

 

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