The other day I heard some children talking about peoples’ reactions when they played their game of sweet and sour.
Apparently sweet and sour game is where you sit in the back of a Volvo and wave at strangers in others cars. If they wave back they are sweet and if they don’t they are sour! I heard about how one man had showed them a doughnut and another man did a salute. They thought this was great. Children find lots of ways to have fun for free.
Adults can have fun for free too. You might get some funny looks if you play sweet and sour but here are some ideas of things you can do for free.
You will notice that most of these you can do alone. This is because if you make your own fun and happiness first, you become self-sufficient in your happiness and rarely bored and lonely.
I would love to hear your ideas of free things to do. Please add them to the comments and share them!
Here’s the plan:
Happy hug 🙂
Yesterday you met your own mind COP by imagining what you mind COP looked like, sounds like, wears…
Maybe one of these?
Today we are going to look at how your mind COP will catch those criminal negative thoughts and keep your mind safe. For the past week you have been keeping a note of your negative mind chatter in your notebook. Now is the time to have a good look at what you have written and start working on making some changes to how that chatter might make you feel bad.
Catch them: You’ve been catching mind chatter for nearly a week. You should have a pretty good idea of what yours is saying to you and who your criminals are.
Own them: These are your thoughts. You created them. You can acknowledge them. Consider them and choose whether to discard them or whether to arrest them.
Protect yourself: You protect yourself by arresting the negative thoughts, examining the evidence and deciding whether to charge them or give them a warning.
Here’s an example based on the losing your job example negative thoughts we looked at yesterday. Read each thought from left to right to see how Mind COP works.
|Catch them||Own them||Protect yourself|
|‘I should have worked harder’||I did work hard though||Maybe they didn’t really appreciate me?|
|‘Why didn’t I take that course to learn more’||I did a lot of development in that role||This is a chance to learn something new|
|‘I’m no good’||Is everything I’ve ever done no good?||I’ve achieved a lot|
|‘I’m unpopular’||With those that love me?||I matter to the people that matter to me|
|‘Why me’||I was one of 10||I will find a better fit|
|‘I’m not clever’||I was the problem solver||I need a new challenge|
|‘I’ll never get another job’||Have you tried?||I wonder what job I will love?|
You can see how Mind COP is examining each thought and looking at it in a different way. One thought does not make a truth. One thought may seek evidence from the subconscious to support it, but Mind COP doesn’t fall for this.
Mind COP is objective and realizes that thoughts tell stories but their alibi is weak when questioned. Mind COP wants to hear from the witnesses and sort out those criminal negative thoughts.
You see when you tell think a negative thought it’s probably not true and your Mind Cop might make this face!
So the next time those pesky criminal negative thoughts are doing a ‘wrong un’ in your mind, just see them scarper when Mind COP comes along and bangs them to rights.
How much of your precious life are you going to spend thinking negatively?
Think about it, how much time are you going to think about negative situations, obsess about the things that went wrong it your life, worry about things that happen or might never happen? Two hours a day? Which is 14 hours a week. Which is 60 hours a month. Which is 730 hours a year. Which is 30 DAYS A YEAR of feeling bad. What could you do in 30 days? A lot! In our example of losing the job, that is 30 days of enjoying the freedom of not working and exploring options for a new career whilst feeling happier.
Life is full of twists and turns, ups and downs and change. By learning to manage your thoughts you will be more resilient in the tough times and happier on the whole. You are not your past, your current situation or what people say about you. You are so much more than that and you can shine.
Happy hug 🙂
In fact so powerful, you even have two! The conscious and the subconscious. The conscious mind helps you operate in the ‘now’ and makes rationale decisions. The subconscious operates at a deeper level and looks to protect us in all we do. You can read more about your two minds here
On Day 2 we started to look at mind chatter. Many of my clients spend more than 50% of their day thinking negatively or hearing negative mind chatter. If you watched sad films for that amount of time, they would probably lower your mood. But the good news is, if you spent the same amount of time watching positive films this would no doubt lift your mood.
Now this isn’t saying you shouldn’t watch sad films or feel negative emotions because we are human beings. We need to feel the whole range of emotions to have a complete human experience. This is about being aware that when a negative thought comes into our mind, it may not be the truth and maybe we shouldn’t spend time dwelling on it or believing it if it makes us feel bad.
Say you lost your job. This is a serious life affecting event and can have a huge effect on people. Now say you spent much of your time thinking about:
These thoughts are like criminals in your mind.
You might spend a few hours a day thinking about these things. These thoughts may run concurrently in your mind and feel like a cloud around your head, stifling you. When your friends and family are talking to you, you might not be listening to what they are saying because you are so wrapped up in what you are thinking. You can’t really read or watch TV properly because you are thinking about the ‘bad stuff’. It starts affecting your sleep. You lose enthusiasm for things you used to enjoy. All because of these thoughts. These thoughts are affecting your enjoyment of life, your relationships and opportunities. You might find it harder to get another job because your self-esteem is low and everything becomes much more difficult.
Mind COP is a good COP. He (or she!) is there, patrolling in your head, looking out for negative thoughts and helping you to; Catch them. Own them. Protect yourself.
Tomorrow I will be showing you mind how COP will protect you against those criminal negative thoughts in your mind. And yes, you really do have the power of arrest (in real life, it’s a citizens arrest ). We will look at how mind COP will help you make arrests and bang the baddies to rights.
Now all this talk about mind COP and criminal negative thoughts is using our imagination. This is the beauty of the mind. It’s imaginative (which is a problem when it creates negative thoughts, phobias and anxiety) but wonderful when it creates excitement, possibility and power.
So let’s imagine mind COP now…. close your eyes (but read this first!). Can you see mind COP? What can you see? Does mind COP have a voice? A uniform? A face? How big is mind COP? How will mind COP help you?
You create your own thoughts you see. With your amazing, powerful, imaginative mind.
Here’s the plan:
Happy hug 🙂
You’ve completed your first week of 30 days to a happier you. I wonder what you’ve noticed about your thoughts and the feelings they generate? And maybe you feel that you have a lot more control over your happiness than you think…..
Here’s a reminder of what you’ve been up to over the past week in your mission to be a happier you.
Day 1 – you gave yourself a current happiness score out of 10 to see how happy you currently are.
Day 2 – you started to catch negative mind chatter going on in your head and made a note of it in your notebook.
Day 3 – you tried to make friends with your mind.
Day 4 – you became a mind COP by realising how much time you spend thinking negatively. You are now focused on catching those negative thoughts as they come in, owning the thought and protect yourself by realising it might not be true.
Day 5 – you did the shake N vac and started to freshen your mind with gratitude.
Day 6 – you wrote a really good gratitude list that means something to you.
Wow, what a great start! Well done you 🙂
If you haven’t done all the exercises, or you have just found this blog series, no problem! It is never too late to start.
Just go back on the blogs and pick up from there. You just need a notebook and pen, to read my blogs each day and dedicate a small amount of time each day to do the exercises. This is not meant to be another thing on your ‘to do list’. It is raising your awareness to things that affect your happiness and helping you train your brain to be happier.
If you are finding this difficult to do on your own, no problem, because I can help you. I offer 4 session packages in person in West Sussex or on Skype round the world! In 4 sessions people have significiant insights and shifts. If you have an electrical problem, you call an electrician. You probably don’t service your own car. And I doubt you do your own dental check up or eye test!
So if you need help with your mind or issues that you can’t solve alone, seek the help of a professional. Your mental health is a critical part of your wellbeing. 1 in 3 adults will have a mental health issue at some point in their lives and there is lots of help available.
Here’s the plan:
Happy hug 🙂
If you fancy blogging and a bit of a challenge, there is no better place to be than Sarah Arrow’s blogging challenge
Gratitude lists are talked about a lot now. But rarely are we shown how to write a meaningful one that works.
A gratitude list is a powerful thing. If you capture the things that you are grateful for and they have real meaning to you, it can help you build happiness and can be a source of comfort in difficult times.
It helps if your list has a good variety of things and you understand why you are grateful for what you have written. A bit like ‘I’m grateful for x because it means ‘y’. You might need a few goes before you get the finished article, but along the way you are thinking in a grateful way and a positive way. This is great because you are looking on the world as a good place. And the even better news is when you look for the good, it lifts you and then you see and feel better. When you have a gratitude list you are happy with, don’t stick it in a cupboard. It’s a living document with a purpose. Stick in somewhere you can see it. Carry a pretty copy on you or in the car. Have it on your phone/computer/hairdryer/xbox.
Many people find it hard to write a gratitude list. Here are some examples to help you on your way:
If you are stuck at what to put on your gratitude list consider nature, animals, the human body or people.
The highest level of gratitude is the gratitude for existence itself.
You can get things for your gratitude list from negative situations. This is called ‘reframing’. Basically finding the positive in a negative situation. Ebay do it beautifully when they say ‘you’ve won’ the item when you’ve bought it! But ‘winning’ is a feel good word.
You can find gratitude in most ‘life lessons’ for example if you don’t like someone’s behaviour, you can be grateful that you know how to behave better or that you have the freedom to not be around them.
What’s interesting about gratitude is that it is not about comparing yourself to those less fortunate. People often fall into this trap. We will come to comparing to others in a later blog. It won’t make you feel better to have something that someone else doesn’t have. Gratitude is about noticing and being grateful for things yourself.
I’m a Hypnotherapist and NLP Master Practitioner that specializes in helping people ‘reset’ in difficult times. We will work through confusion and find confidence and joy in your life. You can email me with any questions or for a free 20 minute consultation. I am on Facebook which I’m very grateful for obvs!
Happy hug 🙂
Yesterday I wrote about your mind being like a room that you want to be clean and tidy so you feel good. Today we are going to start the work to make your mind a happier place. Like shake ‘n’ vac, we are going to put some freshness back! (If you are under 40 you might want to think of Febreeze instead because shake ‘n’ vac was an eighties advert but still watch the video as the tune is rather catchy).
Let’s continue to think of your mind as a room that we want to look nice so you want to spend time in because it’s a nice place to be. First of all it needs to be clean. A lot of the cleaning up will come from the work we have been doing with mind chatter and we are not done with that yet so please continue to catch that and write it in your notebook. But as important as getting the negative out of your mind is the putting positive in. The good news is there are so many way to put positives in but today we are going to look at gratitude.
Gratitude has been found by to be an integral part of health, wholeness and wellbeing by Robert Emmons, Professor of Psychology, University of California
Gratitude increases positive emotions and keeps them. This was proved in a study where groups wrote about:
After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives.
The fact is that life isn’t always kind or nice but by having grateful thoughts and other techniques, it helps us believe and feel that the world is a good place and want to be part of it.
This isn’t new. Just as mindfulness isn’t new. But I still get lots of clients who find it hard to write a gratitude list or to practice mindfulness on their own. Some people get caught in a material trap of writing: house, job, car. True gratitude that feeds the soul and increases our satisfaction levels and happiness is about values, qualities and so on, not so much about material goods. Yes we are in 2016 in one of the richest countries in the world and material goods are part of our life, but they are not true factors of intrinsic happiness for most people.
You can be grateful for anything. It’s not so much about being grateful for what you have but ‘noticing’ the things you are grateful for. Say you said you were grateful for ‘eyesight’. What is it about that makes you so grateful. Is it that you can read, see the colours of flowers, watch your children play. By appreciating the things we take for granted and the small stuff, we feel increased awareness of positive things in our lives.
When you become unwell. You feel more grateful for when you were well. More grateful for being able to breathe through your nose, walk on that foot (and in some cases wear a shoe), to not have to run for the toilet! You get my drift. By practicing gratitude before you are ill you can be grateful for your legs that carry you where you need to get to, those arms that help you feed your loved ones, that mind which is creative and produces amazing things.
I’m grateful that you read my post! Tomorrow I will be giving you some more ideas on gratitude and we will come up with an amazing gratitude list for you!
Happy hug 🙂
The Dalai Lama has said: ‘The very purpose of life is to seek happiness’.
The dictionary defines happiness in several ways including ‘enjoying or expressing pleasure and contentment’ but also ‘well adapted’. I find the ‘well adapted’ particularly interesting as for a lot of people, maintaining happiness or preventing unhappiness will be a job for life.
People are driven by ‘away from’ and ‘towards’. Some people will find a situation so undesirable (job, relationship, home) that they will actively seek to change it. These people are driven by ‘away from’. The opposite is towards which means people that aspire towards things like a job they would like, a place they would like to live or a type of home or other things they might want in their life. There is no right or wrong, they are simply different drivers in people. It is useful to understand yours.
So when we talk about happiness, you may be an ‘away from’ trying to keep the wolf from the door and stopping yourself being unhappy. Or you may be a ‘towards’ which means you are looking to be happier. Considering that most people would answer ‘yes’ when asked if they want to be happy and 1 in 3 people suffer from depression. I think we can safety say that we need to address both.
Imagine your mind is like a room that you spend a lot of time in. Do you want it to be dirty, dark, and untidy and have rotting plates of food hanging around? Out of control? Or do you want it to be clean and fresh and nicely decorated. A place of calm and control? If the answer is the latter, let’s look at some ways to give your mind a bit of a spring clean.
We are already monitoring our mind chatter. That’s the pair of muddy boots trying to come into your room!
You don’t want them in your room because they will leave dirt everywhere. So you see them coming in but either leave them outside the door or clean them up! Keep catching that mind chatter, that’s the voice inside your head that may tell you:
‘I’m not good enough’
‘I can’t do this’
‘Nobody likes me’
‘It won’t work’
CATCH IT – OWN IT – PROTECT YOURSELF
You are catching those negative thoughts, owning them as your thoughts and protecting yourself against feeling bad or sinking into a spiral of negative thinking. Remember that spiral of negative thinking happens when we attach other negative thoughts or memories to the original negative thought.
We will be looking at drivers of happiness in later blogs but for now we are focusing on that wolf at the door because we don’t want to let him in and make our heads a mess.
Here’s the plan:
Happy hug 🙂
Oprah Winfrey knows what she is talking about here because we really do ‘own’ our thoughts and attitude.
Let’s explore what Oprah means more…..Our thoughts make us feel good or bad. We control our thoughts. This isn’t about suppressing emotions, it’s about realising that you can invest in negative thinking and feel less happy or invest in positive thinking and feel better. This is why they say that ‘happiness is an inside job’. We will cover this in much more depth as we go through the next 30 days together.
Our minds are constantly thinking. Like a running commentary in our head. It reminds me of that film ‘what women want’ with Mel Gibson when he can hear the women’s voices talking as they think (I think there are other films like this too, let me know!). We have this ‘mind chatter’ going on which is not only thinking of the practical things we need to be thinking about, but also talking to us in a negative or positive way.
Imagine it now, this voice as you go about your day. You get to work, school, shops, whatever and see a friend, you chat and they say, ‘you’re so funny’ and that voice in your head says ‘you’re fun, ha ha, you make people laugh, great’. This creates good feelings for you and makes you feel good about yourself. You call a company about a problem on a bill and it doesn’t go well and the voice says ‘why don’t things go right for me, my life is full of problems’. This creates bad feelings for you and makes you feel worried, stressed and not so good about yourself.
When you become more aware of your own ‘mind chatter’, this is the first step to owning your thoughts. Imagine talking to a child or someone you care about in a negative way. Firstly it doesn’t feel nice to do that and secondly it would be horrible for the recipient. This is what you are doing to yourself if you speak to yourself in a negative way. We will work on this.
Get your notebook and pen and catch the negative mind chatter going on in your head, make a note of what it is saying. Just a couple of lines a day. Don’t dwell on it, just catch it. After all, it’s probably not true anyway 🙂
Before you start thinking ‘oh no, she’s one of those that tells me to think positive and doesn’t understand what I’ve been through/what I’m up against’. This is so not the case. I help people ease their pain and smooth their thoughts on a regular basis. The work we do over the next 29 days WILL make a difference.
Happy hug 🙂
Can you give yourself a happiness score out of ten? Not just how you feel today (we all have off days!) but in general. All things considered. Your career, health, confidence, relationships, self-care, finances, goals and dreams. Just make a mental note of that score.
It won’t matter if you are starting from not feeling happy at all or feeling like you are already pretty happy. Over the next 30 days in a daily blog, I will be giving you practical advice and exercises which will make a difference to how you feel.
Because that’s what I do. As a Hypnotherapist (NLP Master Practitioner, Reiki Practitioner and Coach), I make people feel better. I know what it feels like for negative thoughts to creep in. To feel negative about a situation in your life or just feel a bit flat and think ‘why can’t I just be happy?’. I’ve spent the last 5 years training to the highest standard to learn all about how to manage negative thoughts, overwhelm and, well, whatever the opposite of happy is for you. I’ve helped loads of people feel better.
You see this is an important thing… Unhappiness can be seen as less acceptable if you have a partner, money, job, kids, house, lifestyle that people think you should be happy in. Sometimes there’s an expectation that you need a reason to be unhappy, but this is not the case. Some people have what others would consider to be ‘good lives’ but it doesn’t stop people feeling flat, bored, depressed, unsatisfied. But happiness runs much much deeper than this. Although it’s different for everyone, there are some things you can do to better understand yourself and your thoughts which will make you feel better. Regardless of who you are, what your circumstances are, how much time you have or what your history is.
So come with me over the next 30 days on a relatively easy and free! journey to explore your thinking and feelings. I promise you at the end of 30 days you will feel better – or your money back lol.
If you like what you read, please like it, comment and share. Sharing and caring for others makes you feel better and helps me know how you are getting on (which I really care about).
Happy hug 🙂
Find me on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/www.honeylansdowne.co.uk/?ref=settings
Wow, there is a lot of excitement in the air today on this, Black Friday, but here is why Black Friday won’t make you happy.
Do you like choice? Or does it confuse and overwhelm you? I know for many of my clients they suffer from overwhelm and feel desperate to declutter and simplify their lives and minds.
When you are surrounded by stuff it will add to feelings of stress and confusion. It also affects the flow of energy in your home which is what Feng Shui is all about. And have you every noticed how well your personal energy flows when your home is clean and tidy? Some decluttering experts such as Mary Kondo will advise you to only have things in your home that you really love and bring you pleasure. This is a lovely concept as it means whatever you use or look at in your home will bring you joy. Bringing joy into your life is a big part of my work with helping clients overcome depression.
So this Black Friday there might be some offers for things you have been thinking of buying for a while, or want to buy as a gift for Christmas like:
But can I suggest that you don’t get sucked into buying things that have no use or you have never considered yourself needing before, as these are likely to be the things that bring short term happiness (if any at all).
Shopping in a pastime enjoyed by many (or even most people). We ‘treat’ ourselves to pretty things, tasty things and things that excite or interest us. Things that we can wear to make us ‘feel good’. Things to make our home ‘look good’ and gadgets to make life ‘easier’.
For some, shopping feels like love.
This is because shopping briefly lights up the ‘reward centre’ of your brain. In simple terms, your brain is designed to seek pleasure or avoid pain.
To satisfy your brains need for pleasure, it works in a cycle of desire, action and satisfaction. An example of this could be wanting positive feedback from someone, doing something for them and getting the feedback which makes you feel good. When you feel good from the feedback your brain lights up its pleasure circuit and this makes you want to do it again. This is called positive reinforcement. Think children and animals here. When you positively reinforce good behaviour they are more likely to do it again.
Shopping lights up most people’s pleasure circuit. But is it enough to make you happy at a deeper level? Or is this happiness short lived? Let’s explore that.
Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist who created the pyramid below now known as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
The pyramid reflects that as complex beings, we need more than just the basics. Yes we need shelter and food. But then we move into the more emotional levels of love, self esteem and our own personal potential and fulfilment.
I see a lot of clients who need help with life direction. Often in their forties or fifties, they’ve worked, raised families, had relationships or marriages and on paper have what look to be successful and fortunate lives. But they are not happy. They don’t know who they are anymore and what the rest of their life will be like. They feel empty, lost and confused. This is to do with not operating in the top of Maslow’s triangle and don’t worry, after 4 sessions and a deep dive into themselves, they are right as rain.
So you see, shopping doesn’t really touch many of the levels of Maslow’s triangle which is why yes it may feels great in the short term, but because it hasn’t fulfilled you on an emotional level, you feel may feel empty and sad still, despite some wonderful Black Friday deals.
I would suggest that Cyber Monday was created to address the lull and emptiness that Black Friday might create. All that excitement on Black Friday, hunting deals, comparing features, accessing which colour will work best and then it stops. Oh no, all the website timers are at 0 and there are no more deals. But wait! You can do it all again on Cyber Monday and feed your reward centre once more. Hoorah. And then Tuesday comes 🙁
To address feelings of emptiness many people self-medicate with food, cigarettes, sex, alcohol, drugs or other things. Like shopping, these things do not address your emotional needs for satisfaction. You need to go inside and understand what makes you tick, what fulfils and motivates you. When you know these things, you can live a life that has these things in and lights up your pleasure centres. My work with clients is all about this which I call ‘finding your joy’. I know it can seem hard when it’s not happening but it is possible, I promise.
The intention of this post was to show you that ‘stuff’ might not be the answer to your happiness. But can the same be said for experiences? In 2015, I had a whole year of not buying any stuff and spent by money on experiences instead. Wow that was a great year. And I have the photos to prove it lol.
Because I am a Hypnotherapist (I’ve started to say with knobs on because what I do is use a number of techniques to get best outcomes for my clients) what I offer you is life changing. A deep dive into self to overcome issues that hold you back and create the motivation, confidence and direction for your wonderful future.
So this Black Friday I invite you to pick up the phone, call me 07530 890089 and have your free 20 minute consultation. If you decide to book in for some sessions, you might not even notice next Black Friday as you may just be living your dream.
Sending you happy vibes.