Imagine Instant Happiness
As you know, most of what I do is promote happiness. There are easy and simple ways to imagine instant happiness on a daily basis. We can maintain happiness by using a certain set of skills through imagery. When you take action on a daily basis to promote happiness, you become more effective, productive and all around more interested in life. We can be kind to others, buy a special gift for someone, exercise or meditate to promote happiness. We can also use imagery or visualization to obtain instant happiness. This type of exercise, referred to as ‘anchoring’ helps you imagine instant happiness.
Anchor Your Happiness
What if you could take a pill to be happy? Well some people do, thanks to our pharmaceutical companies. But did you know that there is a way to push a button and become happier? Anchoring your happiness is a way to do this. When you anchor your happiness you are able to bring your memory back to a happy or safe place. Through this set of exercises, you will see that happiness is all within your mind and by using this simple trick, your body and your mind can work together towards happiness.
1. Think of Your Happy Place
What is your anchor? What provides you with stability, security and safety or in essence, happiness? First thing is first, think of your happy place. When you close your eyes, where you do you identify as a place that brings you peace and happiness? For some it is the beach, a harmonious home, a backyard or a place where he/she grew up. By doing this, you are encouraged to remember the smell, sights, sounds and other various details of this place. Close your eyes and focus on these types of details to help harness your inner happiness.
2. Anchor by Using Your Hands
When you are visualizing your happy place and focusing on the details, the next step is to anchor your hands. You can do this by either clasping your hands together or cupping them. Another option is to squeeze your thumb and your forefinger on the soft spot between your thumb and forefinger on the other hand. By doing this type of clasping, cupping or squeezing you are harnessing a physical reminder to your memory. In this way, anytime you want to go back to your happy place, you simply close your eyes, clasp, cup or squeeze and anchoring will occur. When you use your mind and your movement together, you are allowing your physical action to trigger your thought and feeling. This occurs also when people walk around smiling (even if they are not happy). When you fake a smile, it still tells your brain that you are (trying to be) happy.
3. Use Anchoring Whenever You Need a Pick-Me-Up
To do this action, is completely free! It is a simple option to help you get to your happy place a little faster if you need it. For example, let’s say you get some bad news first thing in the morning in an email and it sets you up for a terrible day. There are multiple coping skills available such as phoning a friend or family member to vent, going on a walk, deep breathing, exercising, listening to music, or anchoring. This is simply one more tool to add to your toolbox. You can use it whenever you feel like it.
Benefits of Anchoring
Visualization and imagery have been shown to improve our bodies and minds. If you shift your perspective from worry to something positive, you immediately alleviate stress and decrease cortisol levels. This in turn, can decrease blood pressure. By harnessing these tools, you can take a ‘mini-vacation’, if you will. (And who doesn’t like vacations?!)
Tips for Anchoring
You can do it anywhere (but a quiet place might be best).
Close your eyes. Shut out any light or noise if you can. It can work better initially in a quiet place, but with more practice you can also do it in louder environments.
Take a few short, deep breaths to get started. Inhale and exhale slowly at least three times.
Imagine yourself in your happy place, in a calm and relaxed state. Try to let go of stress or anything that might hold you back from this important time you have set aside for self-care.
If you drift off, bring yourself back to the happy place. There is no right or wrong way to do this.
Focus on the different sensations and the sensory attributes of the scene. You are in a pretend or imaginary state. Have fun with it.
Remain in the scene for a few minutes at a time. You can repeat this exercise throughout the day if you like.
Tying It All Together
Before you decide that this might not be for you, think about how this type of imagery can work. When you imagine a happy place from your past, present or visualize a happy place yet to come, it has been proven to have health benefits. These exercises are also promoting self-worth or self-confirmation. If visualization has been linked to promoting self-efficacy, motivation and increased confidence, think about how this exercise can be beneficial for happiness.
Why does it work? The brain is a powerful organ. Technically, you can train it like a muscle, but most people might not know that. Professional athletes, actors and other VIP’s do, but they are just regular people. They are regular people who read or got mentored to do these types of imagery and visualization exercises. They were inspired to believe or ‘fake it to make it’ and the rest fell into place. Granted, there is a series of steps involving desire, developed talent, time, effort, action steps, self-discipline and imagery or visualization that gets them to be successful but for right now, we are talking about one tool. One tool that helps change your life.