Happiness is infectious

Let’s make a pandemic (of happiness)!

As the various disruptions have happened in society over the last few years psychologist  tell us that happiness is really a state on mind. I guess most of us would agree that this is in most ways true but I would think it takes a lot of strength and belief to keep cracking jokes when the bombs are going off outside.   (https://www.happiness.com/magazine/inspiration-spirituality/why-happiness-is-a-state-of-mind/) 

Over the last few years leaders from across the world are also now deciding to tell his that happiness is a state of mind. Bhutan is held  up as a world where happiness is described as their “gross domestic product” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-14243512).  This seems a level of enlightenment that the rest of us can only observe with envy or discount as nonsense. It may be something that we all need to tap into right now.

All that we now know about brains and neuroscience tells us that this idea is really on the money, and that we all do create our own experience, in the sense that we do have choices as to how we respond to any event in life, even the worst. It is hard to decide whether the political drive behind publishing such an idea as happiness for all is real concern for our welfare or a way of making the difficult decisions about economic cuts in mental health support more palatable.

Many apps now offer us ways to step over our negative thoughts and feeling. Our friend Andy Puddicombe at http://www.getsomeheadspace.com/, is actively attempting to change that way that we all think and feel with his headspace meditation programmes.

My own area of work with mangers in both the private and public sector to develop a coaching style of management that improves the moral of staff because, surprise, surprise, a happy workforce is more productive.  Check out this article (http://m.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/jul/15/happiness-work-why-counts?cat=money&type=article), it explains why a positive work force might actually save money and even make money.

In my own work I know that when an organisation decides that their customers are more important that their staff, they have lost the point.  The principle is simple, if you look after your staff they will always look after your customers because it is in the ethos.  Just go into an Apple Store, or a branch of John Lewis and you will realise what I mean.

When I first started my training in psychotherapy my teacher said very clearly “what you hold in your bindi will come to pass”.  In western psycho speak we would say “thoughts become things”.  Now neuropsychology tells us the same thing.  Once we understand that we are in control of what we do and think, we do have choice.  The biggest realisation is that we are also in control of what we feel.  Mindful managers, politicians and leaders who understand this encourage others to feel positive and good. This has never been more important. In the likely troubles ahead as things get tighter we need to stay positive.

If we take the politics, the news and Covid out of the idea then it is exactly and completely true.  The only reason that anyone is not happy is that they have learned to be that way.  When you are in a miserable or unhappy state it can feel that the task of being happy is impossible and that the idea of having a choice is ridiculous or even demeaning.  It may be hard but the one thing that I have to tell you is that if you are not living a happy life then you have learned that way of being, thinking and feeling, probably from the moment of birth. These habits do not serve you well, and, whatever your situation you can change it to create the life that you want.  It may sound far fetched, it may sound ridiculous, but over the years I have worked with thousands and thousands of people who have down exactly that, including me.

So, how about for a little while we forget the politicians, health and wars and concentrate on ourselves, how do you feel today?  If your response is anything other than “I’m doing ok” or at a pinch “it’s tough, but i’m getting there” you need some help to the get your head on the right way around. There are plenty of books and ideas that will help you in your task including the resources on the liveinthepresent.co.uk website.

Marharishi Mahesh Yogi, the inventor of transcendental meditation had one simple aim.  If he could get six million people meditating a the same time then the bioenergetic mindbank would be great enough to affect the course of human destiny for the good. I wonder how powerful the mindbank would need to be to change the course of Russias aggression.

Have you meditated today? When you do meditate you add a bit more positive energy to the collective consciousness.

Take care and be happy 

Sean x

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