Michele Lazarus became a Solution-Focused Hypnotherapist in 2013 after experiencing how hypnotherapy helped her make changes in her own life. Her past career was as a counsellor and management trainer in a variety of health and social wellbeing roles in the NHS and the not-for-profit sector.
Do you sometimes feel you could be getting more out of life – be more confident, less stressed, have more fun, do more interesting things….. the list is endless?
Here’s how you can help yourself feel happier starting today:
Actively notice and remember small moments of enjoyment
Occasionally extraordinary things happen, but more often, life is fairly routine made up of little moments. A mounting body of evidence shows the more we appreciate and savour these moments, the better we feel eg noticing a beautiful tree, feeling good about a text from a friend, enjoying a relaxing bath, ticking something off from the to-do list. Slowing down a little so we notice and remember these moments enhances our sense of well-being and also means we give less attention to the moments we’re not so keen on. Try reflecting back on a few good moments from the day just before going to sleep.
Build in something you enjoy each day
When we’re unhappy stressed or anxious, we tend to forget or feel unable to do things we enjoy – the very things that will help us to feel better. Sometimes we need to push ourselves over the hump of apathy. When we do, it helps our body generate dopamine and serotonin, our happiness chemicals. This may have been a challenge throughout lockdown, but now things are opening up again, re-connect with what you like or even give something new you’ve always fancied doing a go.
Connect with others but don’t overdo social media
Whether it’s face to face, SMS, email, or social media, when we chat to other people – especially positive people – this helps us feel happier. This might mean making choices about who helps us feel good in our lives. Just one word of caution however, recent research indicates that too long spent on social media can have the opposite effect and can encourage unfavourable comparisons with others that leave us feeling miserable and wanting.
Focus your thinking on what you WANT and what you CAN change
When we’re feeling low, we tend to focus on what we haven’t got, can’t have, or can’t do. The more we think along these lines, the worse we feel. Notice how different it feels when you tell yourself, “I want to be relaxed” as opposed to “I don’t want to be stressed” or “I want to go for a walk” instead of “I’m bored.” Energy focusing on things we can’t do anything about gets us nowhere whereas turning our attention to what we can change (however small) helps us feel more hopeful and optimistic.
Allow yourself to dream and visualize how you want things to be and then decide on one small, manageable step you can take towards that vision and actively start creating the happier life you want – it all starts in our imagination as the first step to taking positive action.