Happiness therapy to the rescue

How to turn life’s negatives into positives  >  We live in a time when every day the Media bombards us with negative news. It is ironic then that they are now headlining a story disclosing the secret of happiness.

The basic idea is to accept that life is messy and difficult. The mantra is that ‘If you have spent your life wishing for a calmer, happier, more organised future, it might be better, psychologically, to ditch those expectations‘.

This happiness therapy preaches that to dream of a future when life is easy and uncomplicated, is pointless as it never works out that way (remember Brexit!). If not you are doomed to go through life disappointed. Much safer and less pressure just to take life as it comes.

It is about expectations,” says an advocate. “If you are able to just say you’ll take it as it comes, that is really helpful.  Life has different stages – just because it’s messy at one point in time does not mean it will be always.

“People should to look at the different stages in their lives. What was going on for them then, why things might have been a bit messy and try and put it all in context. Every stage of life, every aspect is a learning experience. If we are able to look at it that way, it can be really useful.

Live for the moment

At Tonic we are tempted to dismiss such advice as self-evident platitudes offering nothing new. For ‘living in the now’, read mindfulness.

But in truth, with so much misery around at the moment it is better to embrace any ideas which bring hope and joy. However unoriginal!

Sadly finding happiness in our Coronus plagued world takes real effort. Fortunately there is plenty of advice on the internet. In fact a search on Google for ‘how to be happy’ results in 8,030,000,000 hits.

This poses the question that, if so many millions are preaching happiness, why are so many of us unhappy?

The secrets of happiness

Happiness is indeed elusive. Our brains simply are not wired that way. We have evolved to survive, to protect ourselves, to keep safe. It needs determination to break through survival traits which only focus on negative ‘what ifs’.

It cannot be achieved overnight as you will have to reset your lifestyle baseline. To spur you on your way here is a synopsis of ten points culled from those billions of feel good websites (yes, we have read them all!) ….

  • Focus on the positive and do what you love (don’t let the coronavirus blues win);
  • Choose a positive mantra for the day, such as ‘today is beautiful’;
  • Celebrate little victories however small and accept imperfection (Kintsugi therapy?);
  • Find your work–life balance (you are only going to pass this way once, so make the most of it);
  • Be creative, plus spend more time in nature;
  • Give gratitude therapy a go (giving back to regain a sense of selflessness and humanitarianism);
  • Surprise yourself (part of feeling happy is feeling stimulated, interested and a little surprised by life);
  • Listening to the type of music which lifts your spirits;
  • Build meaningful relationships and hang out with happy people;
  • Stop worrying ( = phone Tonic!).

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