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Are you happy?

October 13, 2015

POST: 7 books that changed my life

QUIZ: Is your brain optimised for success?

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Hi, I'm Laura — Training Neuroscientist, ICF accredited Coach and here to give you the science to help you succeed in business and life

Meet Laura

I’ve spent the weekend in Stockholm which not only is it a gorgeous city, it also ranks in the top 10 happiest cities in Europe.


The vibe here is definitely chilled out and with crisp, clean air and beautiful scenery, it’s not hard to see why.


And I’ve felt truly happy here.


The sun’s been shining which is always a massive happy pill for me and the escapism of exploring a new city has definitely fuelled my need for adventure.


At the same time, I’ve been reading a book which claims it will make me happy. A claim I didn’t think I could afford to ignore!


It’s been making me assess my week and rate each activity on a scale of 1-10 measuring happiness felt.


So I was wondering, where would you rate yourself on the happiness scale?


As a child, you’d manage to find the joy in anything. Even a miserable wet day meant a chance for puddle hopping!


But as you get older, responsibilities and pressures start to increase and life just seems to get more serious.


Endless to-do lists to complete, deadlines to hit, places to be, people to meet. Even social events can start to feel like a chore.


Sometimes it’s hard to see where the fun is in all of this.


Seriously, when was the last time you had a good old belly laugh?


You know, the ones where you just can’t get your breath and usually end up with an embarrassing loud snorting noise. I know mine was way too long ago!


But fear not! There is a way to bring the joy back into your life.


There is a tried and tested technique to start increasing your happy levels and you can implement it today.


As with all good things, it will take a little work but then all good things require a little effort in the beginning.


The science behind this links your behaviour, emotions, thoughts and physicality together so the theory is if you change one, the rest will follow.


But first you need to be able to identify your reaction in each of these areas in everyday events.


So let’s give it a try:


“The world is your oyster!”


Now for some, this will be inspirational so you may have sat up straight with a smile creeping over your face, you’re starting to feel excited and thinking “hell yes it is”.


You may therefore see me as motivational so you make the decision that you will open next week’s blog.


Emotion: Excited
Thoughts: Hell yes it is
Physicality: Sitting upright and smiling
Behaviour: Open next weeks blog


For the more cynical out there, your thought process may be more along the lines of:


Emotion: Unenthusiastic
Thoughts: This girl is crazy
Physicality: Roll of the eyes
Behaviour: Deletes blog


The point I’m trying to make is that our reactions are all interlinked.


Our thoughts affect our behaviours, our behaviours affect our emotions, our emotions affect our physicality, and every other order you can put this in.


So by bringing awareness to how you react to situations, you can start to see patterns emerging. You start to see how and therefore why you react to situations the way you do.


This awareness means that you can choose to change your reaction. You can choose to take the happy route.


And ultimately:


You regain the control to make you happy.


That’s pretty powerful stuff!


So if you’re interested in becoming your happier self, why not start by keeping a diary over the next week and rating how happy each activity makes you.


For instance:

Woke up (2), remembered it was Sunday (9), had brunch with friends (8), etc.


When you note a low score, see if you can break out how you reacted to the situation by filling out the below:




And do the same with something which made you happy. See if you can split this out into the four components.


By becoming aware of how you are reacting to situations and what you are telling yourself, you can start to take that control back and this is the key to happiness.


And if you want more help in living your happiest life, why not get in touch.


I can certainly set you on your path to happiness (and I promise not to tell any bad jokes to get you there!).


Much love