By Dina Marais
Happiness comes from within. This is not to say that events or people cannot make us happy. The thing is that it is the meaning we associate with those events and people that result in feeling happy.
Happiness is a resourceful or positive mind-body-emotional state or mood.
We create our states or moods by what we focus on – the movies or pictures we hold in our mind and the meanings we associate it with.
Happiness is one feel-good state. Other feel-good states are love, grateful, enthusiastic, energetic, excited, motivated, inspired, passionate, joy, etc.
You can feel these states at will by either imagining or remembering a specific event when you experienced it. To be able to experience the state fully, you need to experience it through your eyes on the movie in your mind and note what you see, hear, feel and say to yourself.
The brain does not know the difference between what is imagined and what is real. Even if you have not experienced a specific resourceful state, you can imagine it.
Let’s do that now. Imagine or remember and step into a specific event when you experienced true joy. What do you see, hear, feel, say to yourself. Experience it fully. Breathe it in. What would you call this state?
Take a step back and become aware of the thoughts you were having stepping into the state. What picture or movie in your mind do you associate with that state. When you associate the state with a specific picture and you do it repeatedly, you create an anchor so that when you think of that picture, you experience the feeling. To make this anchor more robust, you can add a word or phrase that you say to yourself and or a specific touch for example make a fist or touch your arm in a specific place with some fingers.
Do this a few times in exactly the same way to create the neurological anchor. Break the state by standing up and turn around. Then test and fire the anchor by using the specific touch, thinking of the picture, and or what you say to yourself.
You can do the same process for every resourceful state that you wish to experience. In fact, you can add and layer resourceful states. For example create a state of joy and add enthusiasm, excitement, inspiration.
Whenever you experience an un-resourceful state, you can access this resourceful state and apply that to the un-resourceful state. For example, when you experience fear or anger and you access a state of calmness and apply that to the fear or anger, you would experience calm anger or calm fear. This is called a meta-state.
As your state determines your response, you will agree that you will respond differently from the state of calm fear than fear.
Do this now. Remember a time when you experienced an un-resourceful state of fear, anger, sadness, depression, etc. What resourceful state could you apply to this un-resourceful state that would diffuse it? Imagine or remember a time when you experienced this resourceful state, step into it fully and apply it to this un-resourceful state.
Become aware how your physiology changes. How would you response to that situation change being in this meta-state now?
Imagine you can access and apply resourceful states at will,
how would that transform your experience of un-resourceful states and your response there of?