How frequently do you actually have sustained feelings of happiness, joy, gratitude or love? They come and go, but you don't feel them all the time. What if you could?
You have work to do, projects that require your attention, people in your life to care for, not to mention all the other stuff that chews up your time: grocery shopping, driving, paying bills, exercising, food preparation, cleaning, the list goes on!
We spend so much of our time doing things interspersed with moments of happiness. Have you ever stopped to take note of what you default setting feels like? I challenge you to begin to pay attention to how you feel while you're doing all the things that are required of you.
When I first did this I noticed that I wasn't unhappy but I certainly wasn't bubbling with joy either.
How would your life be different if happiness was your default setting? (yes, even when you're working?!) I'm talking about bringing joy with you into your life rather than expecting life to make you feel joy.
Here's my three steps to make happiness your default setting so that you can bring it with you and spread it around everywhere you go.
1) Notice things to feel happy about.
You probably already do this to some extent, but once you start making a conscious choice to do it more often you can find happiness in things where there was previously none. Simple things like drinking clean water, talking to a good friend or filling up your car with fuel can fill you with gratitude and joy.
When you make it your intention to look for and pay attention to the good things in your life you might be surprised at how easy it is!
2) Extend your good feelings.
How long does an average good feeling last? Five seconds? Thirty seconds? Two minutes? Longer if you're lucky! Most of us coast along in our default state, not massively depressed but not ecstatically happy either until something good happens to perk us up. One moment we're sharing a laugh with friends in a tea break, the next we're getting back into work at our desk, happiness rapidly fading.
When you notice a positive feeling, try consciously inviting it to stay a while longer. Imagine the feeling growing and expanding. Don't force it, just allow it to stay for as long as possible.
3) Generate your own happiness.
Bring to mind something that you're grateful for, something funny you saw on YouTube or a perfectly timed joke that you heard on the weekend. Think about anything that makes you happy, and then give yourself permission to immerse yourself in that feeling.
By consciously choosing to feel good, for longer periods, as often as possible you will increase your predisposition for happiness. Get smiling!