The holiday decorations are down, the family left, you are looking at the new additions to unpack and returns you have to make, and you are second-guessing your New Year's resolutions.
The distraction of the holidays is over and now you have to face your life. Again.
How do you really start the new year on the right foot?
How do you ensure a truly "happy" new year?
How can I be happy in 2012? After reviewing all the tips I could possibly offer for that grand question, I offer only one straightforward solution:
The Happiness Seatbelt.
Yes, you read correctly, the Happiness Seatbelt.
The Happiness Seatbelt has two straps just like any seatbelt:
- Choose Happiness
- Live in This Moment
Without your Happiness Seatbelt on, it's a WILD RIDE!
Seriously, recent Harvard research shows that 47% of the time most people are thinking of something other than what they are doing in the moment, and that this "wandering mind" can cause unhappiness. You can register to read the full text of the study by Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert.
“A human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind,” Killingsworth and Gilbert write. “The ability to think about what is not happening is a cognitive achievement that comes at an emotional cost.”
I have seen the Happiness Seatbelt work wonders for people who have struggled with depression, stress, anxiety, and attention deficit.
It sounds simple, yet when were we taught how to live in this moment?
When were we taught how to be in control of our own happiness?
If you are anything like me or most people, the answer to both questions is NEVER.
So let's learn together what it means to fasten our Happiness Seatbelts so we can work toward a happy 2012!
Strap 1, Over Your Shoulder: Choose Happiness:
If you have read any of my other posts, you may already know that I think the first step toward happiness is, indeed, choosing to be happy right now. There is a declaration written by Lionel Ketchien, founder of The Happiness Club worldwide, which you can formally sign to state your clear intention.
Strap 2, Over Your Waist: Live in This Moment:
I am going to give you 5 easy steps to follow that will bring you right into this moment. It takes practice, diligence, and discipline to arrive in the now. My clientele work hard and go through these 5 steps to living in the moment 100 times a day! That equals once every 5 minutes for an 8-hour time period. Note that mindfulness apps are also available to help you focus in on the now.
Once you have achieved living in the now (I'd shoot for about 95% of the time, where you are consciously planning for the future 2.5% and savoring the past 2.5%), then, in my opinion, stress dissipates and calm sets in. Your life should then go into flow and ease with harmony and synchronicity.
Step 1: Realize you are out of this moment.
Step 2: Close your eyes and create a positive visual (reel in a fishing line, lie on a raft, sit next to a fireplace).
Step 3: Check in with your senses (touch, taste, hear, see, smell).
Step 4: Close your eyes, take a deep breath, connect with your heartbeat, and ask to yourself, to your heart, "What is the gift in this moment?" and wait for a response. The gift maybe something like love, peace, presence, family, nature, pets, or the sun, to name a few.
Step 5: “I am grateful for (my dog) (fill in the blank with the gift from step 4) because she adds (unconditional love and companionship) to my life.
If you really did those steps, you may feel a sense of calm, peace, ease, and contentment.
Remember, sustainable happiness takes work just like everything. What is worth more than your happiness?!
So let's fasten our Happiness Seatbelts together so we can create the magic and rainbows of our wildest dreams in our unbridled upward spirals of 2012!
Are you mindful? Do you live in the moment? What are your best tips on how to be present? And how do you plan to create happiness in 2012? Let us know in the comments!
Dr. Aymee Coget, Sustainable Happiness Expert, founder of The Happiness Makeover™ Training Program offers services and products on how to become happier at her website www.happinessmakeover.com. Ask questions and visit her on Facebook or Twitter (@draymee), or her blog www.draymee.blogspot.com.
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