You know when people, smug people, say to you “the only way to be happy, is to feel happy” and you say “the only way for me to punch you in the face, is for you to feel me punch you in the face”?! Then one of you ends up in A&E and you both have a good laugh about it after.
I’m not going to tell you “Happiness begins within” because OF COURSE IT COCKING DOES!!!!!
No no no, enough of the smug, please and thank you. What we’re all wanting to really know is;
“Now tell me how to do that.”
I’m not going to patronise you, you’re actors, you feel all the feels. You know what the feels feel. You know what’s happy and you know what’s not and you know how to show other people how you feel so they can feel you. You feel me?
So why are you still not choosing it?
Because, it requires work.
If you sing, then you will know ALL about “the right sort of effort”. I believe all singing teachers learn this mantra at ‘Singing Teacher Club’ and dish it out whenever you can’t hit that nasty Eb in a healthy mix/belt for your final audition next Tuesday.
WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN???
Let’s take that Eb. To hit it, it will require effort. Now you can choose to concentrate ALL that effort on the Eb. That one thing you CAN’T cocking do. If all your effort is there who’s looking after that breathing malarkey, your vowel sounds, maybe relaxing them lower abs and that. Chances are, you might hit it, but I bet your larynx needs to be scraped off your tongue after. You carry on like that flower and you ain’t gonna be hitting nothing but the nearest Wetherspoons after your audition.
What about if some sugar plum fairy (my singing teacher) get’s you to apply that effort to everything but the Eb? You know, help you build a technique, a pattern that you follow, to help you do everything BUT think about that Eb? Then you hit the bloody thing anyway. Wouldn’t that be just thrilling?!
Happiness is that Eb.
It’s changing your effort and changing your choices. It requires effort. But so does being a miserable cow. But let’s all say it together now please:
“The right sort of effort”
So you can choose Wethers or to listen to your singing teacher.
There’s a few practical things to do to start exercising your happiness muscle. We’ll get into the deep and fruity stuff another time.
Here’s the 5 ways to start honing your Happiness Habits:
I know, I know I said I wasn’t going to patronise you but what breathing is to your voice, meditation is to happiness. Now there are exceptions of course. Meditation per se, isn’t particularly helpful for people prone to anxiety because you fill all that big empty headspace with 10,001 scenarios of how you and your family could escape from the room if there was a Zombie apocalypse whilst you’re meditating. But it is possible to approach meditation, if you have a busy brain, in another way.
Meditation comes in lots of different forms and it’s about finding your flavour. CREATIVE VISUALISATION or the more user friendly term DAYDREAMING is the best place to start. 10 minutes lying or sitting down with your eyes closed imagining some spectacular positive scenes will boost your endorphin level for starters. You feel dem pop, you on ya way bruv. Or, if you’re not feeling that positive yet, and your daydreams turn to nuclear storms and debt management then some simple semi-supine, listening to all the sounds in and outside the room might be better suited for you (that’s actually the purest form of meditation, but don’t let me put you off).
Do you know how much tatt you build up in your muscles every day? Tonnes of it. That stuff needs to be flushed out. Plus we’re all living longer and I personally would like to be able to downward dog at them pearly gates. Now, I’m not talking stretch like a dancer. Fighting stretches for flexibility is NOT conducive to any sort of Happiness trigger. It hurts. This requires, I’m gonna say it again, “the right sort of effort”. You know those sleepy, wonderful, gooey stretches, yes those, they’re the ones you’re after. If it hurts, back off, or as my yoga teacher says “drop the ego Sophie”. I love him, slash…..
Ok, this is the most fun technique to train in. This is where you’re gonna need to talk to yourself like you’re Beyoncé. The more creative you can be the better. Google “affirmations” and you will find nearly as many as cat videos on the internet.
Add your affirmations into your MEDITATION/CREATIVE VISUALISATION/DAYDREAMING/RELAXATION time and just repeat the sentences over and over. You feel like a complete twit as first, but you will SO get into it, I promise you. It will be your most favourite part of the day, when you can repeat over and over:
“I am Beyoncé”
Do you brush your teeth everyday? Of course. So you’re perfectly capable of upholding your habits. They say “the habit doth maketh or breaketh the man”….or summit like that, anyhoo!
You gotta choose some good ones. And don’t go all habits blazing, thinking you’re a fudging zen master. One new habit at a time please. It’s been proven over and over again that it takes 21 consecutive days to form a new habit. That seems long, but not really. It’s 3 weeks. I could easily start a daily carrot cake habit in that space of time and not even notice. Choose the habit, don’t let it choose you. Daily/Weekly/Monthly upheld habits will help you gain a sense of control, so when Trump becomes President at least you’ll always have your Thursday night Disco Yoga class.
If you’re someone that doesn’t read, tough. Sorry, there’s no skirting around this. You were lucky enough to be given an education in this world and several people sat down and painfully got you to spell out those words until you could get to the end of my bullying sentence in one swift sweep. And you didn’t even have to read it out loud.
If you are dead set against it, get some audio books. But there is no knowledge in the world like the knowledge that comes from reading a book. Also from a chemistry point of view, it gets you to focus your 21st century brain on one task, and as you get swept into that story or viewpoint you will slip into a subtle state of focused meditation. Pop, pop, pop them endorphins. It’s like drinking water and eating fruit, it’s GOOD FOR YOU. Plus you learn a lot and your language skills will increase tenfold which will increase your confidence and strike up that happiness habit.
These are just the tip of the HappyBerg. But they will set your busy little brains in the right direction; second star to the right and straight on til morning.
How else do you exercise your happiness muscle?
Let me know…..cos I’m dead nosey.
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