The other day I saw the movie, Happy, from Academy Award nominated director, Roko Belic. This is a delightful film. Its mission is to search the globe to find an answer to our very basic questions —
- Is money what makes us HAPPY?
- Having kids and a family?
- Or is what we do for a living the secret to happiness?
- Are we living in a world that truly values and supports happiness and well-being?
- Could it be that we are alighting upon a quantum leap in consciousness?
- Is a happiness revolution underfoot?
Well, there are some statistics that show, based on a recent New York Times article, that even though America is a very wealthy country, we are definitely not at the top of the “happiest people in the world” list (we’re not even close)!
With over twenty-five years of experience in the mental health field, I have learned that the Western scientific approach to mental health and well-being focuses more on our sadness and depression, and how to treat it, than it does on finding strengths and happiness.
There is some great news, though–all that focus on sadness and what isn’t working, is changing. Many of us are beginning to “Wake Up and Smell The Lotus Blossoms!” There is a new field of psychology called “positive psychology” and its greatest proponents are many of the leading psychiatrists and neuroscientists around the world.
In fact, I am one of those “happy” people who is doing her best to spread the word that we can change the belief sets and mind states we hold about happiness! And what I want to share with you is that you can even change your beliefs about what makes you happy.
And you can be happier!
Here is another NLP (neurolinguistic programming) process for you. This one is for Belief Change:
- While sitting in a comfortable chair in your living room, ask yourself what you want to believe and that, if you believed it, would serve you well (i.e, “I want to believe that I can be happier”). In other words, this is a belief that is not really true for you right now.
- Next, ask yourself what it is that you no longer want to believe? What do you currently believe that does not serve you? What is keeping you from having what you want? Sit with that for a few moments and let it sink in.
- Now, get up from your comfortable chair and move to another spot in your living room – either a different chair or a couch, etc. – you are going to do some “process image work”…Allow an image or symbol to come to mind which captures that belief (of what it is that you no longer want to believe). Describe the image to yourself. What was the positive intention of believing that? How has it served you? How has that belief/image not served you? Sit with that for a bit.
- Now, get up out of that chair or spot and stand up, turn around a couple of times and …shake that energy off!
- After you’ve shaken off that energy, step across the room, or move into another room and find another, different chair or sofa or side of the bed. Sit down and ask yourself, “What is something that I used to believe and no longer believe?” This could be, such as, Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny…just “remember a time when” you used to believe something and don’t anymore. Sit with this time/belief/image until you feel very strongly and remember very clearly what it was like for you back then when you had that belief. Breathe deeply into that time. Stay with it a little longer.
- Now, get up from that spot and walk towards that last place you were in just before you took this one…don’t go all the way, just go about half way there…stand up straight and spread your feet as far apart as you can. Imagine that you have one foot in each of those spots. Imagine that your wise mind (best friend/partner/coach) is standing behind you, holding on to your shoulders, gently rocking you back and forth from side to side, from one place to the other, onto each of your feet.
- As you gently rock back and forth on your feet, slightly picking up your feet off the floor, repeat to your wise mind, “This is what I have believed, this is what I used to believe.” As you consider that old belief, ask yourself, “What is the image or symbol that captures how that is now for me?”
- As you are considering that, continue rocking on and off each of your feet, moving from side to side, rocking on and off each of your feet positions, repeating, “this is what you no longer want to believe and what you used to believe and no longer believe….used to believe, have believed…no longer want to…but used to…).
- Continue rocking back and forth for a minute or so, then change positions–put your left foot where your right foot was and repeat step 8 again…continue rocking back and forth until what you no longer want to believe feels similar to what you used to believe and no longer believe.
- Step out of those positions and shake that off. Shake out your hands and feet, jump up and down a bit.
- Now, it’s time to work on settling into what you want to believe….move to a different chair or spot in your home. Ask yourself what it is that you desire… just settle into the chair, into your new position of belief. Tell yourself — “What is it that I am willing to believe for myself now?”….Say to yourself (saying it out loud is better if you can) “I really can be happier about____.”
- Check yourself as you say those words…your belief needs to be a strong desire, not just a wish. Good, just remember that and set it aside for a moment.
- Now, ask yourself– what is something you believe in right now? Do you believe the world is round? Do you believe you have big feet, red hair? Do you believe you have children? Do you believe you are a woman, or a man? Just ask yourself to check what your beliefs are.
- Okay, take on your new belief now from #11…this is your strong desire belief. Remember what you are willing to believe now! Sit with it for a few minutes.
- Now, move out of that chair and stand in front of the chair where you’ve been sitting . Look at yourself in the chair. Imagine you are acting as if you already had that belief that you are willing to believe. Say it and own it fully and then sit back down in that chair and take it on fully. Own it 100%.
- Ask yourself what is the image or symbol that comes to mind that captures what you are willing to believe now? Take a moment to let that image or symbol become very clear in your mind’s eye. What’s that like for you? How does owning this strong desire belief serve you now? Just reflect for a few moments on that. Thank yourself for taking on your new belief.
- Now, turn around, away from the chair and move out and across the room to a brand new place in your home where you haven’t been yet for this exercise…this is going to represent your future. As you walk across the room, take your image and your new belief with you, seeing yourself moving into the future.
- Imagine yourself, as you slowly walk into your future, as you are completing this exercise and go about your business…see yourself next week…a month from now…six months…years from now. Ask yourself what has changed for you now? What are you doing? How is your life different? What steps do you want to begin on your business or life projects now?
- Time to celebrate—job well done!!!
May You Thoroughly Enjoy Your Day!