Generally, I thought of myself as a positive and optimistic person, someone who sees the glass of life as half full. Until, I was faced with an unexpected life challenge that rocked my world. My once positive outlook waned, my spirits dropped, and I started seeing life’s glass as half empty. Trying to work out what was wrong, I realised that I had spent way to much time and energy focusing on what was not working, what I was unhappy about, and what I didn’t like in my life. It was like I was swimming in a sea of negativity. Does this sound like something you have experienced in your life? You know, those tough times when everything looks bleak.
Caught up in a daily cycle of negative thoughts whirling around my head I had lost my joy. My negative focus had left me drained unable to even think about anything positive or uplifting. I was disconnected from the special memories in life that bring us joy. Memories of loving relationships, life achievements, special moments, and times of happiness, joy, and laughter. The sum of these memories create our internal ‘happy place’, a vast treasure house filled with all of our positive, happy, joyous, blissful, and inspiring memories and feelings.
One afternoon, I’d had enough of feeling flat and unhappy. I remembered the saying, ‘Whatever you focus upon magnifies’. So I decided to make an effort to shift my focus away from my negative thoughts. Rather than think about all the things that were going ‘wrong’ in the different areas of my life, such as my relationships, job, fitness, and finances, I started to look for what was going ‘right’. Instead of constantly judging what I didn’t like about myself such as, lacking confidence, feeling less than other people I compared myself to, or criticising my lack of progress in my career, I started to focus on what I did like about myself. I made an effort to focus on what was ‘good’ and ‘right’ about myself.
I made a commitment to myself to spend time each day reflecting on what was ‘good’ about me and my life. I silently asked myself these questions, “What is working in my life right now?”, “What do I like about my life?” and “What do I like about myself?” I wrote down the answers each day so I could clearly see all the ‘good’ things about my life. Surprisingly, there were many things that I had taken for granted that in fact were significant to the meaning of my life. I would reflect upon the answers to these questions at the end of the day as a way of reinforcing their value.
What unfolded over a short time was a deep sense of gratitude for myself, and all the people and experiences that made up my life. I reflected upon how grateful I was for the ‘good’, positive, uplifting and inspiring people and experiences in my life. I began writing gratitude statements such as, “I am grateful for my healthy and fit body”, “I am grateful for all the people in my life who love and support me”, “I am grateful for my safe and comfortable home”, “I am grateful for my sustainable financial wealth”. As I wrote each gratitude statement another was ready to spill onto my page. All of a sudden it was like a waterfall of gratitude came gushing out. My page was filled with deep, genuine, loving gratitude for everything in my life. It brought tears to my eyes as I realised that I had neglected such a wellspring of happiness living inside of myself.
As I reflected upon each gratitude statement it took on a life of its own. For example, reflecting upon “I am grateful for my healthy and fit body” made me realise how fortunate I am to have good health so I can do all the things I enjoy in my life. So many people have different health challenges that limit their activities or their lives. I’d had my health ups and downs, however I am generally healthy. Another meaningful reflection is that, “I am grateful for all the people in my life who love and support me”. I feel genuinely grateful that I grew up in a loving family embraced by my parents unconditional love. They have loved and supported me my whole life, even when I went through some of my ‘weird’ phases. For me, they are role models of unconditional love.
I spent time each morning tapping into the vast treasure house of my life’s happy, positive, uplifting, blissful, and inspiring moments and reliving them. I recalled times of happiness, joy and laughter, bringing them into the present moment. They were alive like I was watching a 3D colour movie that was full of feelings. As I made this a daily practice it became easier to recall my happy and positive memories and the feelings associated with them. I realised that I was naturally connecting with my ‘happy place’, and it felt so good.
Through the practice of tapping into my ‘happy place’ I began to get a sense of my personal happiness vibration or ‘happy vibe’. I realised that a combination of my mindset, memories, feelings, and thoughts create our personal happiness vibration. By consciously connecting with my ‘happy place’ and tapping into its resources I could raise my ‘happy vibe’.
Have you met people who look like they bring the sunshine with them wherever they go? Their smile, positive attitude, happiness and laughter brighten the day of everyone around them. I’m sure you’ve also met people who bring the storm clouds, with thunder and lightening following them around. We can choose whether we want to live in the sunshine or in the stormy weather by adjusting our ‘happy vibe’.
One day without even thinking about it I realised that my spirits had lifted. I found myself looking out for the good things in life, instead of complaining. I would leave home a bit earlier so I could stop by my favourite garden and enjoy smelling the flowers and looking up at the blue sky. Other times I would stop by a nearby art gallery and be inspired by the art work.
Where I would have previously seen the negative in a situation I now leaned towards the positive. As my overall attitude changed my positivity and happiness radiated outwardly to the people I met, and they commented on how happy I was looking. What had previously seemed like massive obstacles I found that I could overcome them in a more constructive way. What were previously challenging relationships became more harmonious and solution-orientated. However the biggest change was that I now felt a deep sense of happiness, enthusiasm, motivation, and excitement about my life and the amazing opportunities available. My ‘happy vibe’ was back!
You too can learn how to build and maintain your ‘happy vibe’ through consistent, daily practice.
Step 1: Shift your focus
Spend time each morning reflecting on these three questions: “What is working in my life right now?”, “What do I like about my life?” and “What do I like about myself?” Write down your answers and review these in the evening.
Feed your brain with positive and uplifting information. Make time to read an inspiration book, watch an inspirational movie or interview, or listen to a podcast, have uplifting and positive conversations with family or friends.
Step 2: Gratitude attitude
Make time each day, in the morning is great, to write down at least five things you are grateful for in your life. What and whom are you grateful about? It can be as simple as being grateful that you are healthy, have a place to live, can enjoy a walk by the ocean or have loving family and friends. Commit to this practice for at least a month so it becomes a habit. Review your gratitude list each evening and truly feel appreciation for your life’s blessings. Appreciation for everything in our life, especially the little things helps us to be open to receiving more in an ever expanding circle.
Step 3: Build your ‘happy place’
Each morning spend a few minutes tapping into the vast treasure house of your life’s happy, positive, uplifting, blissful, and inspiring moments and reliving them. Make them so real that it’s like you are watching a 3D movie in full colour. Write down these memories so you can review them later as you build your ‘happy vibe’.
Step 4: Raise your ‘happy vibe’
Review the memories you used to build your ‘happy place’. Recall them in the present moment, feel the feelings, see yourself in these situations, hear the sounds around you. Totally immerse yourself in your happy memories and feel these circulate throughout your body. Feel your ‘happy vibe’ tingling all around you.
After much soul searching, I developed these daily practices to inspire you to be the happiest, healthiest and most empowered woman you know. I would love for you to share these with those you love!
I believe in you! I believe in your brilliant LoveLight. Let it shine brightly and courageously for all to see.
Copyright 2017 Illira Margaritis