Click here to listen to Catie’s interview about the Happiness Myth with Pete Davies on Mix104.9 FM.
What is happiness? Usually, it refers to a feeling – a sense of pleasure or contentment. We all enjoy happy feelings so it’s no surprise that we strive to feel them. However, like all of our emotions, feelings of happiness don’t last.
Life is a rollercoaster ride with many emotions in any given day and it’s always going to be that way. From a young age we are conditioned to be brave, to be ‘good’ and to not show negative emotions such as anger, jealousy, frustration and sadness.
In the pursuit of being ‘happy’ many people hide and even aren’t aware of what they truly feel. It has become common to over eat, work excessive hours, drink alcohol, take drugs and even exercise obsessively to numb and disconnect from unwanted feelings. All too often these habits become an emotional crutch and lead to health problems and increased feelings of disconnection, depression and/or anxiousness.
Given that what we repress becomes stress, in giving attention to our pleasurable feelings AND our uncomfortable feelings such as sadness, fear and anger, enables us to feel more balanced and connected with ourselves. Attention means mindfulness. And mindfulness is not a THING it is something we DO.
Mindfulness is a ‘stop and look before you act’ manoeuvre that slows us down so we can reflect – as opposed to react.
For example, being mindful is noticing when you have eaten enough. It is when you notice unintended sarcasm or crankiness entering your tone of voice. Or when you notice negative or judgemental thoughts you are having about yourself or others.
A few seconds of stopping and reflecting will enhance your actions, your thinking and your feelings and therefore, your outcomes in life.
You can choose to become more mindful every day by asking yourself these key questions:
What am I doing?
Is it worth doing?
How well am I doing this?
Could I do it more effectively or resourcefully?
Likewise when it comes to your thoughts you could also ask yourself:
What am I thinking?
Is it worth thinking?
If yes – Could I think about this more positively?
If no – What shall I choose to give my attention to and think about now?
So, as opposed to striving for happiness and feeling stressed because you’re repressing uncomfortable feelings, focus on doing mindfulness even more every day.
To learn even more about how you can love yourself from the inside out, download my ebook 10 Ways to Love You, Love Your Body and Love your Life’. It’s full of simple mindset strategies you can use right now to accept and celebrate YOU and live more mindfully every day. Click here to get your free copy.