Happiness at your finger tips!

I have been receiving some lovely feedback on my book so this week I’d like to present an extract from “Improve Your Life! 21 Strategies That Will Make The Difference” which was published in April 2017.  The following is taken from Strategy 2: Choose to be Happy and I hope you enjoy it.

“When someone told me I lived in a fantasy world I almost fell off my unicorn!” (Anon)

In J.M. Barrie’s classic tale of the boy who never grew up Peter Pan gave the advice to “just think of happy things”.   Believe it or not it’s actually really sound advice and doesn’t just work if you happen to live in Never Never Land!

Why not choose to be the happiest person that you know? One of the very best decisions I ever made was to study the science of Neuro Linguistic Programming, more commonly referred to as NLP, in order that I could help others by incorporating the principles and processes into my work.

Here is a simple NLP process called “Anchoring” which I have used to great effect countless times for myself, my family, friends and clients. It’s simple and it works.

The principle to understand is that anger, sadness, confidence and happiness are all examples of what are known as ‘states’. Using the NLP technique of anchoring you can have any positive, resourceful state you choose literally at your fingertips. Using the state of happiness here’s how it works. First, you need to decide whether you will choose your left or right hand to set the anchor. Then you need to choose which finger of that hand will be used in conjunction with the thumb of the same hand. The anchor will be formed by pressing your preferred finger and thumb together at the appropriate point in the process.

Next, you need to relax, take a few deep breaths and remember a time when you felt really, really happy.  Take your time and think through and recall some different memories until you decide on which of them has the strongest feelings of happiness connected with it. Once you have decided on that happy memory you will be able to proceed.

In your imagination fully return to that time as if it were happening again now. The idea is to literally see what you saw, hear what you heard and feel how good, how happy you felt. Importantly, you should know that the more vivid, more colourful and the closer to you in your mind’s eye the image is the stronger the effect it will have on you. Likewise, any sounds should be as clear and as similar to the original memory as possible. What you see and what you hear should, in this case, cause you to smile as you recreate the feeling of that happy time.

Feel all those happy feelings and notice where the feelings are taking place, in your head, in your stomach in your chest? Or maybe the feelings are in a combination of places? Where ever the feeling of happiness is showing itself is absolutely right for you.

As you keep going through this memory, make the colours brighter and richer, the sounds louder and the feelings stronger. Then as you feel these good feelings peak in intensity, you squeeze together the thumb and chosen finger and hold them together for a few seconds. You then release your thumb and finger.

You repeat the process up to 10 times, on each occasion seeing what you saw, hearing what you heard as you focus in on those truly happy feelings. Each time you feel the intensity of the memory peak squeeze together the thumb and chosen finger and hold together for a few seconds. Once you have anchored in that feeling of happiness - which you have created - you will be able to recall it any time you choose by the squeezing together of your thumb and finger!

“We may not be responsible for the world that created our minds, but we can take responsibility for the mind with which we create our world.” (Gabor Mate)

If you really cannot remember a happy time that provides the intensity that works for you then make one up instead. Use the incredible power of your own imagination and think about what being really happy would look like, sound like and feel like. You then just play around with this until you access strong feelings of happiness. Really this is Peter Pan’s “just think happy things” advice which, of course, has nothing to do with making sense and everything to do with make believe.  Once you have this clearly in mind then you set about creating an anchor exactly as explained previously.

A happiness anchor is one of the most effective ways I can suggest to enable you to choose to be happy. I strongly recommend that you give it a go and once you have I am sure you will be happy that you did!

“Everybody has the power to make someone else happy.  Some do it by entering the room, and some do it by leaving!” (Anon)

You can read more about ‘Choosing to be happy’ in my book ‘Improve Your Life: 21 Strategies That Will Make The Difference’ – available from our website for £9.00 incl p+p https://www.totemtrainingltd.co.uk/products/ or Amazon.