How to be happier and reduce stress
Do you sometimes feel that other people are getting more out of life than you? They seem more confident, less stressed, have more fun, do more interesting things... the list is endless.
Here are some thoughts and strategies to help you feel happier starting now:
Thought 1: commit to change and to get more out of life
This is much more productive than using precious time and energy comparing yourself to others. 99 times out of 100 such comparisons leave us wanting and feeling inadequate. After all, the only person you can definitely do something about is you! Make a commitment to yourself that now is the time to invest in your happiness.
Thought 2: pay attention to the small moments of enjoyment you experience every day
Of course, sometimes significant and wonderful things happen in our lives, but more often, lovely things occur in the detail of everyday life. A cheery chat with the supermarket cashier; a lovely view; a generous driver letting us out of a side road; a compliment from a friend.
As life is made up of little moments, the more joyful ones we notice, the better we feel. This also has a double whammy effect of helping us to ignore those moments we’re not so keen on.
Thought 3: do things you enjoy
When we’re unhappy, stressed or anxious, we tend to forget or feel unable to do the very things that will help us to feel better. Pushing ourselves to do what we enjoy helps our body to generate serotonin, the chemical which affects our happiness and sense of well-being. When we’re doing things we enjoy and become engrossed in, we generally achieve a state of focused concentration, or “trance” allowing important down-time for our busy minds.
Thought 4: connect with others
Whether it be face-to-face, phone, text, Skype, email or social media, when we chat to other people, this again helps us to feel happier. Just one word of caution, recent research indicates that too long spent on social media such as Facebook can have the opposite effect as it can encourage those unfavourable comparisons.
Thought 5: focus your thinking on what you want out of life and the changes you want to make
When we’re feeling low, the tendency is to adopt a deficit model, focusing on what we haven’t got or can’t have. The more we think along these lines, the worse we feel. Allow yourself for a moment to notice how differently you feel when you tell yourself, “I want to be calm” as opposed to “I don’t want to be anxious” or “I want to go out for a walk” instead of “I don’t want to be in the house”.
Allow yourself to dream and visualise how you want your future to be and then decide on one small, manageable step you can take towards that future.
How hypnotherapy helps
Hypnotherapy is a combination of talking therapy and trance. The talking, or psychotherapy, serves to focus you on recognising those positive aspects of life as well as setting yourself small achievable goals for change. Even imagining how things can be different helps our serotonin to flow and gives us confidence to make changes.
The trance part of the session allows that focused concentration of mind mentioned above. When we’re in a trance we are able to think creatively finding workable solutions and ways forward to feeling happier and more positive.
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About Michele Lazarus
Michele Lazarus is a solution focused, clinical hypnotherapist working in Gloucestershire with practices in Stroud and Cirencester. She is also a trained counsellor and has worked with people for over 30 years. Michele is passionate about helping people to get the very best out of their lives.