It’s definitely spring! We’re awash with daffodils and crocuses and yellow baby chicks and pale spring sunshine. The trees are frothing with blossom, Easter is around the corner and the clocks have gone forward.
Yes! Spring is here so that means it’s the time for planting – and I don’t mean casting seeds upon the earth, for, as you well know, we can also plant metaphorical seeds into the garden of our minds. As with any kind of cultivation, things take time to grow. But whatever we plant in ourselves now can soon start showing green shoots.
Spring is all about re-birth, so it’s good to think about what might help us grow, strengthen and renew in ourselves for the year ahead. Often this means doing a little revision on stuff we know, but forget to do! So check out whether you’ve got a bit rusty on any of the following things over the winter months:
It’s always good to have an openness to whatever this benevolent Universe brings us, (even if what is presented to us at the time is tough and challenging), as this helps one to go with the flow of life more comfortably. How are you doing on this concept?
Your attitude governs whether you’re generally happy and content or frequently angry and resentful. Thoughts are energy and wherever you place your focus will make that area grow strong. So it stands to reason that there’s no point in focusing on not being happy! Instead, are you making a commitment to putting your attention into thoughts that make you feel joyful and at ease?
It’s a fact that 90% of happiness comes from how you decide to think about events and only 10% from the events themselves. So make sure you’re living your own version of happiness (not anyone else’s!), and resist the temptation to look for it outside of yourself because in the end, it always comes from within.
If there are negative thoughts churning through your mind, change direction and make a conscious decision to try to think about something else which doesn’t bring you down. How are you doing on this?
How’s your attitude of gratitude? Remember, it can go a very long way to creating a happy life for yourself. If your ability to feel gratitude has got somewhat jaded, why not make an effort this spring to re-double your efforts in this direction? It’s easy to lose momentum. You can strengthen your gratitude muscles by remembering that before you go to sleep at night, you think of three things you feel grateful for which have happened during the day. They don’t have to be big things. Helpfulness from a shop assistant or a warm smile from a work colleague or even the sight of a blue sky and spring sunshine beaming down are all things which can spark gratitude if we think about it.
Don’t let’s forget that concept of living your life with a glass half full or half empty. The paradox is that it can be BOTH things. It’s how you view it that matters. Are you making sure that you always view your glass as being half FULL? It’ll go a long way towards helping you to be happier in yourself and generally more content.
Where are you with trying not to over-think things? Remind yourself that mostly it only complicates matters. Re-double your efforts here if this is a seed you need to re-plant. Practice looking for good to come out of every experience, and if you’ve been hit with a big challenge, spend time searching to see what might be positive in that situation and concentrate on that instead of the pain or anger you’re feeling. Don’t forget that you can choose how you view your life, and this can lead to more contentment and give you a greater sense of calm.
How often do you smile? Research shows that smiling (and laughing) triggers a part of our brain that leads to happiness and optimism – so doing more smiling and laughing can lead to contentment and success. You can also have the pleasure of passing on happiness to others by smiling more!
How good are you at not taking life so seriously? Make sure you haven’t forgotten how to laugh at yourself – but not in a dismissive way. We all get things wrong sometimes, we’re only human, and nobody’s perfect. Maintaining your sense of humour (especially about yourself) is a wonderful safety net. As a Zen monk once said: “If you’re not laughing, you’re not getting it”.
Who you are right now is down to whatever difficulties, heartache and sorrow you’ve overcome in the past. All those ups and downs you’ve experienced have made you a great deal stronger than you were when you first started out in life. Are you celebrating that and giving yourself some appreciation?
And finally: very often, the thing you think you want most of all in the world, isn’t actually what you’re after. More often than not, it’s the feeling of having that thing which is the real desire because that is what you think will bring you success, joy, relief or whatever. So here’s a time-tested technique you can use to help you feel like a millionaire without winning the lottery!
Whatever that thing is that you really want – think of yourself already having it! Close your eyes and think about how good you’d feel if it was in your life right now! Let yourself experience that feeling to its utmost. Think about doing the things you want to do because you have that thing. Think about how life is so much better. Think about how happy you are with that thing in your life and let yourself feel that happiness. Get a sense of how that joy feels in your body, how it sings and zings through your being. Let yourself be filled up with that feeling and allow it to flow through your entire body. Let it flow in through your head, down through your body and out through your feet and then let it flow in through your head again. Keep recycling it – in, through and out – for as long as you can.
Then take a breath and see how you feel. Notice your mood. Notice how it feels in your body. Be aware of how it feels around your heart area.
If you’ve focussed on this with concentration and done it whole-heartedly, you’ll be BUZZING from head to toe. Your energy will be in full flow.
Now, doesn’t that put a spring in your step?