Looking for the silver lining

So many books I’ve read talk about happiness being a habit. Today I asked myself, why do all my “happy habits” seem to create no more happiness than when I first started looking into happiness as a concept?

Giving gratitude, keeping a journal, exercising regularly and doing meditation, is something I preach and practice all the time. No doubt you have heard it all before too. However, I still found myself every Monday to Wednesday these past few weeks feel so slumped, shunted and disillusioned. 

Last Monday was the 3rd in a row where I Googled the meaning of happiness. On this occasion I found some very insightful things. I’d like you share them with you, if you feeling a little slumped yourself.

My results from my Google search this week where actually pretty good- surprise, surprise I discovered a few websites Happify and Tiny Buddha that where really cool. I realised there are a few anti- happiness behaviours I am doing on a regular basis that I don’t even know about. Let me run through the concepts that really stick with me, maybe you can find some truth in it too?

My biggest problem is waking up in the morning. Initially when I wake up, the first thoughts that go through my head, is how much my body hurts from training. If not this, then how much sleep I didn’t have and how tired I am feeling. From the  moment I wake up my thoughts are negative. As you can imagine this isn’t very productive to have a happy morning. 

No matter how bad you feel, get distracted

Secondly another ‘fun kill’ is limiting self-beliefs. Have you ever imagined how wonderful experiencing or doing XYZ is,  then the negative voice inside your head pipes up to tell you how crappy you are and how you can’t do it? It happens to the best of us.

Personally have a stigma about my worthiness to be heard and to voice opinion in my professional field. This comes down to the fact I don’t have Dr in front of my name and I don’t have a Phd. This is the basis of my limiting self-belief. Twice this year alone I have almost enrolled in uni again, to work my way towards that Dr title. When I stop and think about it again, I don’t think studying is going to make me happier. I just think its an excuse to get busier and to numb myself, by overloading my already over committed work life.

Numbing is a very interesting concept. A lot of People numb emotions through alcohol and drugs. Over achievers numb themselves by being extremely busy and over loaded with work. Being distracted and working all the time, you don’t have time to be present and experience the world. You don’t have time to do anything. Do you numb?

You are worthy, you just have to believe in yourself and kill that negative voice with more positive affirmations

Next on the hit list is sticking to ideals. In all areas of life you create this perfect image of how something is supposed to be like. Hate to break it to you, but life is not like this. We can try to create a ‘perfect’ life, but its often superficial and dysfunctional at best.

One hurdle I deal with most days of the week, is having the correct image as a trainer or dietitian. If I am so into health, shouldn’t I look like I am stepping out on a body building or bikini model stage? Logically I know this is hog wash, but this ideal is pushed on to professionals in the fitness industry all the time.  There is this perception that if a trainer doesn’t compete in aesthetic competitions then they won’t get clients or be successful.

 I agree it’s a good idea to keep yourself healthy and fit if your working in the health industry. Let’s face it, practice what your preach, but you don’t have to look like GI Jane. Knowledge base and client rapport is more important – but of course my own wise words don’t apply to me. AHEM-

You can’t be perfect, & ideals are created by peoples own insecurities. Great things happen when we are outside of the norm. Be yourself.

Next is this overwhelming feeling that, if I’m not running around like a crazy woman all day, I am being lazy. I get the feeling that I am wasting time, wasting the day and I should have had XYZ completed by now.

I hate to break it to myself, but being lazy is not constituted as taking time out for a few hours to watch TV or surf the internet after working a 60hr week and training for 8-10hrs in my “free time”. You get the picture? It’s all about perspective.

You are not being lazy if you take time out, enjoy it, relax and unwind.

Lastly this concept of PLAY comes up all the time. The happiest people are those that play. My first thought was, what do you mean by play? I do stuff I find enjoyable, like exercise but  as I continue to find out, that’s not counted as play.

P – Permission to not be serious

L – let go of judgment

A – Acknowledge tension and resistance

Y- Say yes!

Play is unstructured free time to do or not do enjoy able things, it’s time to let your mind be creative and wander. You can part take in silly children’s games if that makes you happy.

Allow some time for play 

There’s also a few more things that may bring you happiness too, that doesn’t particularly have relevance to me, but it may for you?

  •  Aim to be debt free- start to budget, pay off your crap and stop trying to keep up with the Jones’s
  •  It’s ok to quit, find something else to work on that’s suits you better        
  • Acknowledge when your catastrophizing events. On a scale of 1-10, if 10 is where some one is dead and 1 is breaking a nail. Were does your problem lye? More often than not, your modern day issues like being late for work, sit around a 2-3.

The search for the silver lining, is looking for more positive things to focus on. Find a few moments of quite time to give your mind a break and keep things in perspective.


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