This year our family celebrated a simple Thanksgiving outdoors. I am fortunate to have hosted our family gathering this weekend on our 100-acre property amidst the beauty of nature’s burnt oranges and reds at this time of fall. We sat in comfy chairs, placed in a circle, surrounding a chimenea which served as a central focus for our gathering as we sharing stories and laughter. All members of the family contributed to a beautiful buffet dinner with all the fixings. We balanced our generously filled plates on our laps while enjoying the beautiful day immersed in nature. I am thankful we were able to celebrate together and for everyone remaining healthy and well throughout the challenges that have presented this year. We are blessed.
More than anything, I noticed how happy everyone seemed, probably the happiest I have seen everyone in a long time. We talked about how happy we were and how these last 18 months have somehow introduced a level of simplicity to our lives, and how slowing down had been a gift in so many ways. It’s interesting how difficulties can also help us prioritize that which makes us happy. At the end of the day I couldn’t help but reflect on our deep appreciation for each other, our sense of happiness and being thankful.
What is happiness?
Happiness is a mindset. It comes from within us, not from your outside circumstances. Happiness is an emotional state characterized by feelings of joy, satisfaction and fulfilment. Our individual vision of happiness is unique and may significantly differ from our coworkers, our friends, our parents and our family. Our happiness is personal to each of us. Intrinsic happiness is the seed, a set point inside each person that builds stability, consistency and gives meaning to our life
‘Happiness is intrinsic. It’s an internal thing. When you build it into yourself, no external circumstances can take it away.’ Leo Buscaglia
It is important to recognize the expectations others have for us and then learn to connect and define our own vision of personal happiness. Take the time to develop clarity around this vision. What does your happiness look like, feel like and even sounds like to you? Truly connecting with and creating an experience of happiness in your mind will provide an internal GPS setting and keep you focused on accomplishing tthe goals that are meaningful to you – on your terms.
It is easy to become distracted by the obstacles that interfere with our happiness. When we are ‘at effect’ we are cued and react to events and circumstances occurring outside of ourselves and perceive that we have no power to change the situation or our experience. When we are ‘at cause’ we make conscious choices in how we respond to those circumstances and events that arise. We make decisions, choosing our behaviours and actions based on our values and knowing we can influence our experience. If we are not discerning about what external circumstances we choose to respond to, it is easy to slip down one rabbit hole after another preventing us from accomplishing the personal goals and meaningful outcomes we set for ourselves.
Our surroundings have a significant impact on our ability to remain focused and avoid distraction. We all have an opportunity to choose where we focus our energy, thoughts and actions. Everyone can create their own road map to stay on track. A personal roadmap for happiness is important so that we can recognize and avoid distractions and stay on track towards our intrinsic goals. If we can recognize being pulled off track by distractions early on, the pull that takes us in the wrong direction, we can then hit the ‘reset’ button, refocus and get back on track. The faster we can get back on track the faster we will reach our goals and feel a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction in our life. Minimizing distractions and then surrounding ourselves with people who support, motivate and inspire us to stay on track and reach our goals is crucial. Many people hire a coach or have an accountability partner to help them mitigate distractions and stay focused, to keep them on track and reach their goals.
Recent trends show a shift of focus on happiness through positive psychology. This particular area of psychology focuses on how to help people prosper and lead healthy, happy lives, in essence helping people become happier.
Shawn Achor, is a psychologist and a happiness researcher. He looks at what makes people happy and how to create lasting positive change. He has released a number of books including ‘Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness’ in which he shares five actionable, proven strategies for changing our lens from negative to positive. Another book written by Shawn Achor, ‘The Happiness Advantage’ discusses how small shifts in our mindset and habits can rewire our brains for positivity and optimism to cultivate the happiness advantage in our lives, our careers, and even our health.
Shawn and other positive psychologists know that we can literally change the lens with which our brain processes the world by priming our brain for happiness with positive images. Shawn has helped develop a program called Positive Prime which positively impacts mood for 6-8 hours following a 3-15minute Positive Prime session.
Positive Prime is based on Positive Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, and Neuroscience. It serves as a reset to create deeper inner peace and a level of positivity in life and to achieve goals more easily and without added stress. A recent Harvard study suggests, our brains thinks in images. We process and memorize information in the words we speak, hear, and read from which we create and store specific images inside our minds and below our level of awareness. These images have been shown to positively impact our feelings behaviour, actions and outcomes unconsciously. People who use Positive Prime for 15 minutes or less a day, report feeling more balanced and centered, more calm and confident, and enjoy more harmonious relationship. They claim to experience more optimism and develop healthier bodies and minds.
I have enjoyed the benefits and the simplicity of Positive Prime myself. Positive Prime improves performance, focus, health, and happiness by using empowering messages and images, carefully curated, organized, and timed. The cumulative effect of Positive Prime can creates a powerful positive mental state in only 3-minutes a day. If you would like to experience a Positive Prime 10 day free trial just click HERE . I would love to hear your thoughts!
I know that we can prime our minds for happiness and success. During my career as a stress management and mindset breakthrough coach, I have seen clients break down their negative beliefs and barriers that have their ideal life hostage and their happiness at bay. Through a 56 question assessment, they can pinpoint specific areas that negatively impact their happiness and success. Happiness is a choice and we can consciously cultivate a positive mindset. if you would like to book a 45-minute free confidential consultation and assessment click HERE and book under ZTPI Assessment.
Simone Usselman-Tod is a Stress Management and Mindset Breakthrough Coach. Clients who work with Simone learn how to ‘re’ program those old patterns, habits and beliefs that no longer serve them. Clients experience breathtaking results, feeling more confident and focused, and gain more clarity around their passion and purpose.
Book a 30 minute confidential free call and learn about re-programming your mind for happiness. https://simoneusselmantod.com/book/