The 5 steps guide to the Happiness Process
Over the last few months I have noticed an increase in the number of clients and acquaintances who are suffering from severe anxiety and low mood. There appears to be a growing number of people struggling to control the daily levels of worry and fear that arise in them. Teenagers and young people particularly seem to be suffering, as do those in their fifties and above. This feeling may of course be across all age groups and not be something new, but this issue has been highlighted for me recently in the clients that are coming to me and the queries being raised by them.
This really got me thinking about why anxiety is so high, and why so many people appear to be struggling to find contentment and happiness. I always used to think of young people as full of energy and excitement for life, yet this has changed for me lately. Likewise, people of fifty and over were often winding down and making plans for when they retire, so I wanted to understand why these problems appear to have intensified for both groups. When I sat down to think about what makes us happy I found it quite difficult to define. I realised that many factors can contribute to our feelings of security and wellbeing, but does this constitute happiness? Is it one thing or a combination of things that can make us feel happy? Is it as simple as having a roof over our heads and food on the table, or do we need more than that? Do we need to know that we have money in the bank, that we have a pension or own a property? Do these material aspects give us security and therefore happiness?
For the over fifties age group worrying about what is going to happen to them when they are older, where they will live and what money they will have to live on when they are too old to work, appears to be one of the major concerns. This is especially true where they have no children or family who they can rely on to help them. Their security or how they perceive their future security to be plays a large part in how much they worry and how stressed they feel. Of course, worry changes nothing, but that is easier to say than to stop worrying. Worrying seems to be a constant state for many of us and often becomes the norm, and a way of being that we get used to and stuck in. There is always something to worry about if we are in that mode of thinking. Some of the happiest and most easy-going people I have meet, have very little by way of possessions. Lots of people I know don't have a pension these days or even own a property. Yet they feel contented with their life and have an easy flow to the way that they move along their path. They really appear to have less to worry about. So maybe having more possessions creates more worry. If we equate possessions and money to finding a state of happiness, then a third of the world would be classed as unhappy and surely that can't be the case. So many other people that I come across are full of anxiety and unhappiness and have clearly lost their way, yet have a house, car, food and plenty of money in the bank. Happiness for me is therefore not defined by security and possessions, as lovely as they are. Having these items creates security, which may decrease the stress levels, but this is not happiness. In some cases having more money and possessions seems to create more anxiety. So, happiness must be about something else entirely. When I tried to think about why I feel happy, and therefore what happiness entails for me, I found that it was about an inner connection and awareness to my thoughts and emotions. It was about feeling balanced and centred in myself, which decreased the worry and stress in all circumstances, and knowing that whatever life throws at me I can deal with. I know that I have emotional strength and an understanding that I can change my life if I want to. I therefore have some active control over how my life pans out and I firmly believe that we all do.
Of course, I get anxious and fearful at times which can really be unpleasant, but I have the tools to control this and get whatever is worrying me into perspective. For me it is about having a good understanding of where my anxieties and fears come from and being able to put techniques in place to keep them diminished and small. So much of today's society clouds that connection and it’s so easy to become bogged down with materialism and how we look outwardly to others. This creates a feeling of lack and sense of little self-worth. I think that is particularly relevant to social media these days. What we see is simply what the user wants us to see about their lives, and in fact a lot of it might not be true at all. How they feel is not always the perfect happy pictures that they post but can sometimes be a facade hiding the truth. In fact they can be deeply troubled and struggling to cope, but the pictures that they show are of a perfect life. We then start comparing ourselves to something that doesn’t exist, and this can get out of proportion especially for teenagers. The dis-ease of comparison can cause our energy to become out of balance. I have heard so many friends talk about having a rest from social media recently, reconnecting to nature and to themselves. If we can reconnect to that inner essence, that part of us that is truly unique, then a sense of worth and balance descends.
If we want to change what we have in our life, then gratitude is one of the most important starting points. If we can see value in the little things in life and feel real gratitude for that roof over our heads whether we own it or not, the food on our table, our health, our families’ health, the friends that support and encircle us, then a sense of contentment begins to pervade. If we can concentrate and focus on the positives in our lives, rather than what we perceive as the negatives, then I believe this is the start of the happiness process. Often by focusing on the positives, the negatives in fact seem far less important. Our brains begin to get a different perspective.
I believe that joy is that feeling of warmth that bubbles up and often explodes into laughter and giggles. Happiness is a calmer more self-contained state of just being. A knowing and a trust that comes from within. We appear to have lost that connection to ourselves. When I asked my partner what he felt happiness was about, he said to him it was finding someone to love unconditionally and a life without conflict. I found that an interesting point as we are very social beings. We love being with others, having friends, family and even our pets around us. We are not designed to be alone, although a lot of people find themselves in that position. I don't believe that being alone makes you unhappy, but I do agree that finding someone you can love unconditionally is an element of happiness. Being alone can mean that we are forced to face what we are feeling and who we are. Addressing this truth can sometimes be very difficult for a lot of people. In order to receive love from others, we must first love ourselves and that requires that connection and understanding about our emotions and beliefs. If we have that connection to ourselves, then we can love unconditionally and in a very conscious open way.
Of course, nobody wants conflict either and unfortunately there is so much of it in today's world. Not only in personal relationships but in the world as a whole. Some horrific images and situations are broadcast around the world to the point that I know a lot of people chose not to buy the papers and watch the news as they do not want to see that imagery, or for the negativity of that situation to affect them and their lives. This dis-ease can cause us to experience an overloading and overstimulation of emotions. Many people find it draining and can often get the negative feelings that arise out of proportion, eventually believing that only negative things happen in the world. And yet if you break it down again, people fight as they are not prepared to take on board other’s beliefs, ideas and viewpoints. They are in the mindset to score points against each other and put each other down. They believe that their only option is to fight and crush their opposition. Yet if they looked within and concentrated on that inner connection, things might be different. That is far too simplified I hear you say, but I believe that if we all started by concentrating on our own feeling of wellbeing, which in turn affects those around us, we would be in a better place and this would spread out into our communities.
So how do we find that inner connection and become energy happy? Well I think the path is different for all of us, but one important element is working on ourselves. What do I mean by that? Well by being aware of our energy field and connecting to our emotions on a daily basis. How do I really feel today? Am I feeling anxious and if so why? Where is that anxiety coming from? Questioning our emotions, finding their source and clearing them from our energy field is paramount to taking those first steps towards contentment. If we are able to improve our relationship with ourselves in this way, then our relationships with friends and family is also going to improve considerably.
To this end I have written a book, and created an online course called Freedom of the Soul, both of which will be available shortly. They set out ideas and techniques that we can try to start to get a balance in our energy fields. I have set out below a sequence of energy practises for you to start that you can carry out every day, or help a teenager or youngster to carry out to start this process of connection. It may seem silly at first, but eventually you will begin to feel the benefit of this. It need only take a few minutes out of your time but if you can incorporate some of these tasks into your daily routine your personal energy health will improve. Maybe when you are having a shower or walking to school or work you can go through these practises, setting up your day for the most positive outcome;
Be in the now. A lot of anxiety that people of all ages experience, is because they are thinking about the ‘what ‘if s’. What will happen to me in the future? They then go through all the worst scenarios that may happen, playing them out in their mind, which when you think about it is ridiculous. You are worrying about something that has not happened, and may never happen, and yet people worry incessantly about the future. If anxiety is becoming overwhelming for you for this reason, practise being in the now. Practise clearing your mind of any possible future events, and just concentrating on what you are doing in this particular moment, on this particular day. Really bring your mind into the present and keep bringing it back if it wanders. Another way to do this is to try the following visualisation - imagine a version of you in front of you – your future you, and a version of you directly standing behind you – your past you. There should now be three of you standing one in front of the other. Now bring your focus into you, at this specific time. See yourself in the middle version, in the version of you NOW. Really concentrate on how your physical body feels, and how your feet are touching the ground. Set the intention to draw all your energy to you now. Once you are sure you are fully in the present version, send roots of energy down into the earth, anchoring yourself in the here and now. Repeat this visualisation every day, and if you find yourself worrying about ‘what if’s’, repeat it again.
Be happy. If we wait until every aspect of our lives is perfect, before we allow ourselves to find happiness, then it will never happen. Find happiness on the journey. Enjoy the process of that journey and everything it entails by being very present at every moment. Be happy now. Make a mental choice each day to be happy even if you feel tired and worn out. Smile at people, make eye contact with them, and above all be kind to them no matter how you are feeling. Eventually, you will begin to feel happier.
Be positive.Control is also a point of anxiety for people. Not feeling that you have any control on your world and what is going to happen to you. When in fact being positive and staying in the present creates a more positive energetic environment and attracts more positive scenarios into your life. I totally believe that we do have some control over the life that we create with the energy and positivity that we give off around us. If you are struggling with staying positive, stop reading the papers and watching the news for a while on TV, and practise the energy routines in this article. We need to be aware that the news is often weighted to a certain perspective, and that the positive acts of kindness and love that happen continually throughout the world every day, are not being reported on. What we see are the negatives and bad news, and this can become out of proportion making us believe that the world is a negative place. So let go of this for a while, as well as Social Media if you can, and concentrate on your energy connection. You will feel a benefit and an improvement in your mood, and then perhaps you can bring in small portions of time when you read a paper or look at face book. However, if it affects your mood again, ignore it.
Be grateful for what you have in your life now. The roof over your head, the family and friends around you, the job, money in the bank, whatever it is actively send gratitude to the Universe for allowing these things to come into your life. I often repeat my gratitude mantra throughout the day – really connecting to the emotion of it. It is the emotional connection that is the key element, connecting to that feeling of gratitude in the heart when you think about something or someone that you are truly thankful to have around.
Create a bubble of positivity and protection around you. Imagine a bubble so big that you can step into it and it will completely envelope you. Fill that bubble with joy, happiness, gratitude, love, whatever emotion you want to fill it with. Give a colour or texture to the emotion or emotions that you fill the bubble with, and perhaps customise it with whatever you want around the outside. For example, you could see liquid crystal dripping all over it, or streaks of fire flashing over it. Allow the positive emotion and feeling of being protected to be enthused into every cell of your body. Step into your bubble whenever you need a top up of positivity or protection. If you find yourself in a situation which particularly makes you anxious, then just imagine stepping into your bubble. Nobody need know what you are doing, but eventually that feeling of protection and positivity will be anchored into your being.
Of course being aware of our emotions and energy field is just one of our tools, which I am particularly interested in, but there are also other processes that will assist the happiness levels:
1. I would always encourage clients to initially talk to a medical professional if struggling in any way with low mood, severe anxiety or depression.
2. There is a direct link between our sense of smell and our emotions, so using essential oils can boost your mood considerably whether that be by using a diffuser or using the oils directly on your skin. Again, if in any doubt please consult an expert.
3. Nutrition is also very important as there is a direct relationship between the health of our gut and our brains. It is therefore useful to do a detox which will reduce the toxic load on the body, as well as causing an emotional detox. Once this has been accomplished try to eat clean foods if at all possible. I have recently been for Vega testing which was incredibly interesting and helpful as to what was the most beneficial way to move forward, and it is always useful to get some expert advice in this field.
4. Exercise is also helpful to boost mood and aid sleep which is an important factor for supporting mood.
It is up to you which of these elements that you include in your daily routine, but if you are struggling with finding the Happiness Process then begin to adopt some of these practises and see how you feel.
Natasha Joy Price is an Energy Health Therapist who specialises in looking at the health of your Energy Field for general wellbeing, due to an illness or following a major life event.
Natasha Joy Price
Facebook – Dandelion Therapies