As we approach the end of 2021, many people will be thinking about making resolutions for a positive new year ahead. Popular intentions are to lose weight, get fit, have a happy loving relationship, change jobs/careers or gain financial security but ultimately, what we all want is to be happy. Over my 23-years experience of working with thousands of clients as a Transformational Therapist and Mindset Coach, it became clear to me that most people believe happiness is something they hope they will find in the future – once they have the body, partner, job, money, or whatever it may be that they desire. The reality is that happiness created by anything external, either comes to an end or can be taken away. Happiness is an inside job, it’s there inside of you, just waiting to be accessed and released.
After experiencing a metaphorical plane crash and finding myself in a very low and un-happy situation in my life, I soon discovered that by changing the way I thought, I was able to change the way I felt and consequently rebuild my life. Over the ensuing years, helping others to do the same by sharing the seven most powerful lessons I learned, became a passion for me. This eventually led me to write my 5-star Amazon best-seller book ‘Your Flight to Happiness: A 7-Step Journey to Emotional Freedom’. My overall message is this: If you want to find true lasting happiness, you must first learn how to F.L.Y ~ First Love Yourself… Here are 5 ways to help you transform the way you feel and make 2022 your happiest year yet.
Silence Your Inner Critic… We all have around 60-65,000 thoughts a day and 95% are the same thoughts going around in a loop. On average, 80% of them are negative, meaning that most people have over 45,000 negative thoughts every day – criticising, complaining, blaming, shaming, putting themselves down, beating themselves up, comparing themselves to others, going over the past or worrying about the future. It’s hard to feel happy with a harsh critic/worrier living in your head! No-one is born with a negative mindset but early messages, picked up when we’re vulnerable young children can programme our subconscious minds with limiting beliefs about ourselves and our worth. Our thoughts create our beliefs, feelings, actions and reactions, and can seriously sabotage our lives if we let them. If you want to create happiness from within, you first need to realise that you are not your thoughts and you have the ability to control them, instead of them controlling you. Try wearing a rubber band around your wrist for a few days and whenever it catches your eye, pause and check your thoughts. If they’re negative, command them to stop instantly and ping the band. Repeat this frequently over several days until your mind gets the message that it no longer has any power over you.
Reprogramme Your Mind… Just as the repetition of negative messages creates deep-rooted beliefs, so does the repetition of positive self-talk, or affirmations. However, if you start telling yourself wonderfully positive statements after believing for years that you’re ‘not good enough’, you’re ‘a failure’ or you’re ‘unlovable’, although none of those negative beliefs are true, you’re very likely to reject them. A far more gentle and effective way of accepting affirmations is to start off your chosen phrases with I choose. If you say I choose to know that I’m absolutely good enough, I choose to believe I can succeed in whatever I put my mind to, I choose to love myself unconditionally, provided they’re things you do choose to believe, you’re speaking the truth and your subconscious mind will begin to accept those statements as being true. Saying “I choose” is also very empowering as you’re telling yourself that you’re now taking control over your thoughts and beliefs.
Take Responsibility… As an adult, no-one and no-thing has any control over your life – unless you hand it to them. When you blame other people or past experiences for your feelings or circumstances, you’re giving your power away and putting yourself in victim mode. You are responsible for the choices and decisions you make in your life – even when you choose to do nothing and stay right where you are. You may have had negative experiences in the past but you have the power to move from feeling like a victim to becoming a victor and changing your life. I love the quote “No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent” from Eleanor Roosevelt. We may say things like “He really upset me” or “She made me so angry”, but the truth is that no-one can make you feel anything. People may be critical or harsh and you may feel angry or upset, but when you ask yourself why you reacted the way you did, it enables you to become self-aware, see things from a different perspective and own your feelings.
Develop an Attitude of Gratitude… Gratitude is a powerful key towards creating happiness from the inside. When you focus on appreciating the many blessings you have in your life, it’s impossible to feel unhappy at the same time. When we take what we have for granted and dwell on what we want but don’t have, it leads to feelings of lack. By continuously searching for things/people outside of ourselves that we believe will ‘make us feel happy, we may well get a temporary feeling of excitement when we get them but before very long, the search is on for the next short-lived fix. Remember, what you focus your attention on creates your feelings, actions and reactions, so if you want to create more happiness from within, it’s time to start focusing on being grateful for everything in your life. We rarely stop to fully appreciate the simple everyday things – like having a roof over our head, a bed to sleep in, clean fresh water flowing through the taps, food to eat, clothes to wear or people who care about us.
The Power of Now… Everybody knows that the past has gone, the future doesn’t yet exist and only the present moment is real but despite this we tend to spend much of our time mentally reliving the past, or worrying about what might possibly go wrong in the future. When we hold onto regrets, guilt, blame, resentment or anger about things that happened in the past we are just causing ourselves emotional pain. We can’t change the past but we can change how we choose to feel about it and set ourselves free. Equally, we can cause ourselves mental and emotional anguish through the power of our imagination. It’s so easy to create a virtual reality in our minds and feel as though the worst possible scenario has actually happened, creating all the associated negative feelings within ourselves. Through practising daily meditation and short periods of mindfulness throughout the day, we’re able to bring ourselves into the present, let go of the inner chatter and create a sense of inner peace and happiness.
Toni Mackenzie – Transformational Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist & Mindset Coach.
Author of Amazon bestseller self-development book: Your Flight to Happiness: A 7-Step Journey to Emotional Freedom with seventy-five 5* reviews on Amazon.