Happiness

Happiness!

Happiness is now a measurement that can define a country.  The latest survey this year, came out with ratings for the “happiest” countries.  The Scandinavian countries once again coming out on top with Finland at number one.  Although Britain is in 19th place it is still not a good indictment of our country.
Happiness is subjective but the fact that Denmark has consistently been in the top 3 over the past 5 years suggests they are doing something right as a nation.   One explanation is “hygge” pronounced “hoo-ga” with the closest explanation as being one of coziness.

The sense of being together and belonging creates coziness.  It’s when we allow ourselves to relax in a state that feels warm and comforting that we can recognise a sense of happiness.  These moments and opportunities do not always need money to be achieved.  In fact it has been proven that over the decades although our income has increased our levels of happiness have not.
It is our responsibility to seek out our own happiness and when we are in this emotional state we can affect other peoples’ levels of wellbeing and happiness too.

So how can we experience hygge?  First of all we have to be mindful to it.  Appreciate the moment; savour the sense of whatever we are doing in order to absorb those warm feelings.  If our minds are closed or focused on what’s not right or what is wrong then we will miss those times of happiness.  I have mentioned before about “destination addiction” – Andy Cope, if we are constantly thinking that we will be happy, relaxed, chilled only when it is Friday or on holiday that we are missing out on the present.  Animals and young children are much more able to create their moments of happiness as they live in the present moment.
However, we can all make our own hygge.

Connect with people, whether that is family or friends, at home in the work place or out socially – talk to people.  It has been proven that being with people that are supportive, fun, encouraging greatly improves mental wellbeing. Take up hobbies and do things just for fun.  Be a child again and put on the wellies and splash through puddles!

There are a load more suggestion to create your hygge moments in my book ” A Guide to Commonsense WellBeing”

Here are a few of my hygge moments:-

Walking along the Pembrokeshire coastal path looking out over the Irish Sea.
Snuggling up to watch a good film on a dark and wet winter afternoon.
Being aware of the garden bursting into life in Spring.
Dancing.
Being part of a team, working together to achieve a goal.

The list can go on and on!  For the rest of the year seek out, be mindful and saviour your hygge moments.  Place them in your memory jar so you can recapture the feeling of happiness.
I would love to hear about your hygge moments.

Inner self

Working with our Inner Self

Working on our inner self can be difficult, uncomfortable and yet ultimately life changing.  As I do more and more holistic work on myself I am shedding past ways of doing and thinking and turning my focus to my inner self.  Over 30 years in the NHS led me to be more external in my approach in working with people.  My role was to listen and support them in making sometimes very practical changes that could enhance their life.  As an Occupational Therapist I was always aware of the many facets of our physical environment, interaction with others, self awareness and psychological health that made up our holistic wellbeing.  What I wasn’t so aware of was our spiritual health and the inner wisdom that we have to deeply heal ourselves.  This has come later into my life and I am still very much on this path.

What I have learnt recently is that answers to our problems and dilemmas, lie within us and we need to really explore these areas of loss, grief, anger and avoidance. There is a need to “go within” and converse with our bodies and our higher self to explore our missing parts and to discover what we need to do to replenish and fill it.

Amy B Scher has written bestsellers on how she helped herself heal from chronic illness and suggests that we ask of ourselves the following questions:-

“What are my symptoms keeping me from doing?” In other words what is your fear/avoidance.

“What am I feeling about my illness?” eg guilt, sadness, anger etc

“Therefore just before my illness what was I feel (sad, angry guilty) about?”

These powerful questions can uncover the true cause of illness and why it is manifesting itself physically.

Using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) tap on the feelings that arise from these questions to help bring down any intensity and allow forgiveness and acceptance to come in.  The best place to tap for this is on the Thymus gland, just a couple of inches down from the notch on your sternum, below your throat.  Tap here saying “I now let go of these (feelings) as I start to accept and forgive myself”.

This is just one way of exploring your inner self and addressing the often unknown causes of what holds us back.

If you have any experience or thoughts about this blog please feel free to contact me.