Cultivating happiness can be a challenge in an uncertain environment but it's one of the most useful skills that we can learn for ourselves, for our family and for our clients. Mindset Coach & TCA Course Manager Sandra Stocks is sharing three insightful strategies to bring happiness into your life within isolation.
"Happiness is a state of mind. It's just according to the way you look at things" Walt Disney.
It appears that we are in unprecedented times, where our freedom has been curtailed and we are living in forced isolation. Although this is necessary for our health and the health of others, we have no clear idea of how long this may continue.
We have no idea of how long it will be before we are once again able to meet and fully interact with our family, our friends and our work colleagues or when our ‘normal’ life will resume.
Not only can there be feelings of discomfort in these new and unchartered waters, but isolation can also lead to a myriad of emotions such as boredom, loneliness, separation, and of course, fear.
It’s now more important than ever to find a way to feel happiness within this current situation, which will also help with any other future event where you may feel you have no or little control over the outcome.
Your perspective on any situation is the driver of your response to any given circumstance, so what can you do to focus in a way that supports positivity and feeling good?
When something happens in our life that throws us out of our comfort zone, our brain kicks into protection mode and we tend to feel fear. As we feel worried or anxious we project forward and we then think of and make up scenarios that we believe could happen.
But these are not real and they are not true. They may exist in our minds, but not in our present reality.
We can, however, choose to focus on the one moment we do have – to appreciate the here and now.
We can choose to place our full attention on this moment and not be distracted by thoughts of what might happen, or what if this happens? A
lthough it appears we have no control over the situation we find ourselves in, we do have full control over the thoughts and habits we choose to cultivate to support a different perspective – a perspective that includes appreciation for what you are doing, having or saying moment by moment.
Staying in the present brings a sense of relief, a sense of calm and a feeling of ease and as we experience these emotions, we are heading towards a feeling of happiness.
So ask yourself, what could you do as a reminder to appreciate the moment you are in? And what could you do to make it a moment-by-moment habit?
Whenever anything happens that throws us into a tailspin, or even any small thing that has affected or annoyed us, general human thought tends to focus completely on that one thing.
Think of a situation in your own life where something has happened that hasn’t felt too good and where was your complete focus?
Yes, you may have still been turning up for work and communicating with those around you and functioning as ‘normal’ but where was your attention - on the one thing that has just happened. And as we focus on that one experience, our attention to it helps it to grow until that becomes our whole story. We mull it over, we talk to our friends about it, we may even place it on social media and as we are doing that, we cannot be aware of the other elements in our life that are working very well for us. We become blinkered.
So when isolating, focus on what is beneficial for you.
I’ve heard from some of my coaching clients that it’s lovely to have some time with the family. Other clients are enjoying working from home and not having to commute.
Even if it’s only one thing, find a positive aspect within being at home and choose to focus on that. Put reminders around your home to stay aware of the benefits, feel the difference it makes to create a story that feels good and notice how your direction of thought now leads more towards appreciation and ease.
This can be a pretty difficult one right now with everything going on around us and being bombarded with the latest update on the situation, but ask yourself, can you feel close to happiness when you’re listening to the latest ‘facts’, ‘figures’ and media reports?
The emotion that you are most likely to be feeling as you give these reports your attention is fear.
A client of mine, living in Mauritius, was listening to the latest updates three times a day and couldn’t understand why she was feeling so down.
When she realised during a coaching session that she was soaking up the doom and gloom like a sponge, she decided that she was only going to check on the updates once a day for information such as grocery opening times and that the check-in would be in the morning, not just before she went to sleep (which she had been doing).
She now has some distance from the constant bombardment and feels much more at ease within her isolation.
Again you have the choice to listen to other’s worrisome opinions, their stories and their fear-laden predictions, or you can instead put your focus and attention on the most empowering thing you have – the here and now moment and what you can feel within it.
The choice is yours.
Stay connected with the TCA community throughout this challenging time and share your stories! Home study is not alone study and the TCA students are leading the way in supporting each other and their communities.
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