30 days to a happier you – Day 10 – things to do for free

Sweet and sour

sweet and sourThe other day I heard some children talking about peoples’ reactions when they played their game of sweet and sour.

 

 

Apparently sweet and sour game is where you sit in the back of a Volvo and wave at strangers in others cars. If they wave back they are sweet and if they don’t they are sour! I heard about how one man had showed them a doughnut and another man did a salute. They thought this was great. Children find lots of ways to have fun for free.

Adults can have fun for free too. You might get some funny looks if you play sweet and sour but here are some ideas of things you can do for free.

  • Go to the sea
  • Take a course, there are free courses available at future learn
  • Cook something or invent a new dish
  • Cloud watch…….. Oh sorry I’m back. I just got distracted by some clouds!
  • Put some of your favourite photos in a collage
  • Read. Even if you hate reading there must be a book that you would enjoy. There are sites that find books you might like. Try whatshouldireadnext
  • Music changes your mood in 3 seconds. Choose a belter and sing your heart out. These girls are funny!
  • Be a tourist in your own city. I did this recently in Brighton and had a lot of fun
  • Make your Family tree. Free at most libraries
  • Walk in nature

nature

  • Go window shopping to see what you don’t need to buy!
  • Create something. A scarf, pen pot, book, shed
  • Find a group near you on Meet Up. If you can think of it, there’s a group for it!
  • Watch inspiring Ted talks
  • Look at some art to inspire you or make you wonder what it is!

weird art

 

 

 

 

 

  • Explore. On foot. On a bike. In the car
  • Exercise
  • Try creative writing or even a blog
  • Create a new outfit out of your existing clothes
  • Watch animals
  • Learn a new skill
  • Try some adult colouring
  • Create a mission for yourself – maybe see all the Royal Parks or local parks in your area? Visit all the libraries? Find the local markets?
  • Help someone else – Radio 1 have a great thing at the moment where you can give an hour to help others
  • Grow something

Peter Glazebrook from Newark kisses his world record breaking onion that weighed in at 18lbs 1oz, beating his previous world record by almost 2ozs, at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 14, 2012. Glazebrook took six first prize awards in the Giant Vegetable classes at the show. Photo credit should read: John Giles/PA Wire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will notice that most of these you can do alone. This is because if you make your own fun and happiness first, you become self-sufficient in your happiness and rarely bored and lonely.

I would love to hear your ideas of free things to do. Please add them to the comments and share them!

Here’s the plan:

  • Read your gratitude list often
  • Make sure Mind COP is on patrol
  • Pick one list from the list, do it and see how you feel
  • Feel free to share this post on facebook or twitter!
  • Like me on facebook

Happy hug 🙂

Honey

30 days to a happier you – Day 9 – you tell fibs

30 days to a happier you – Day 9 – you tell fibs

Is this your Mind COP?

Yesterday you met your own mind COP by imagining what you mind COP looked like, sounds like, wears…

Maybe one of these?

coprobocop1dogcop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today we are going to look at how your mind COP will catch those criminal negative thoughts and keep your mind safe. For the past week you have been keeping a note of your negative mind chatter in your notebook. Now is the time to have a good look at what you have written and start working on making some changes to how that chatter might make you feel bad.

Let’s see mind COP in action.

Catch them: You’ve been catching mind chatter for nearly a week. You should have a pretty good idea of what yours is saying to you and who your criminals are.

Own them: These are your thoughts. You created them. You can acknowledge them. Consider them and choose whether to discard them or whether to arrest them.

Protect yourself: You protect yourself by arresting the negative thoughts, examining the evidence and deciding whether to charge them or give them a warning.

Here’s an example based on the losing your job example negative thoughts we looked at yesterday. Read each thought from left to right to see how Mind COP works.

Catch them Own them Protect yourself
‘I should have worked harder’ I did work hard though Maybe they didn’t really appreciate me?
‘Why didn’t I take that course to learn more’ I did a lot of development in that role This is a chance to learn something new
‘I’m no good’ Is everything I’ve ever done no good? I’ve achieved a lot
‘I’m unpopular’ With those that love me? I matter to the people that matter to me
‘Why me’ I was one of 10 I will find a better fit
‘I’m not clever’ I was the problem solver I need a new challenge
‘I’ll never get another job’ Have you tried? I wonder what job I will love?

 

You can see how Mind COP is examining each thought and looking at it in a different way. One thought does not make a truth. One thought may seek evidence from the subconscious to support it, but Mind COP doesn’t fall for this.

Mind COP is objective and realizes that thoughts tell stories but their alibi is weak when questioned. Mind COP wants to hear from the witnesses and sort out those criminal negative thoughts.

You tell fibs

You see when you tell think a negative thought it’s probably not true and your Mind Cop might make this face!

youthinkwhat

So the next time those pesky criminal negative thoughts are doing a ‘wrong un’ in your mind, just see them scarper when Mind COP comes along and bangs them to rights.

Your time is precious, don’t waste it

How much of your precious life are you going to spend thinking negatively?

Think about it, how much time are you going to think about negative situations, obsess about the things that went wrong it your life, worry about things that happen or might never happen? Two hours a day? Which is 14 hours a week. Which is 60 hours a month. Which is 730 hours a year. Which is 30 DAYS A YEAR of feeling bad. What could you do in 30 days? A lot! In our example of losing the job, that is 30 days of enjoying the freedom of not working and exploring options for a new career whilst feeling happier.

Life is full of twists and turns, ups and downs and change. By learning to manage your thoughts you will be more resilient in the tough times and happier on the whole. You are not your past, your current situation or what people say about you. You are so much more than that and you can shine.

  • Write your own table of negative mind chatter in the same format as above and set your mind COP to work
  • Read your gratitude list often
  • See you tomorrow

Happy hug 🙂

Honey

30 days to a happier you – Day 8 – You have the power of arrest

30 days to a happier you – Day 8 – You have the power of arrest

mind powerYour mind power is the most powerful thing you own.

In fact so powerful, you even have two! The conscious and the subconscious. The conscious mind helps you operate in the ‘now’ and makes rationale decisions. The subconscious operates at a deeper level and looks to protect us in all we do. You can read more about your two minds here

You’ve got more rabbit than Sainsburys!

On Day 2 we started to look at mind chatter. Many of my clients spend more than 50% of their day thinking negatively or hearing negative mind chatter. If you watched sad films for that amount of time, they would probably lower your mood. But the good news is, if you spent the same amount of time watching positive films this would no doubt lift your mood.

Now this isn’t saying you shouldn’t watch sad films or feel negative emotions because we are human beings. We need to feel the whole range of emotions to have a complete human experience. This is about being aware that when a negative thought comes into our mind, it may not be the truth and maybe we shouldn’t spend time dwelling on it or believing it if it makes us feel bad.

Negative thoughts are like criminals in your mind

Say you lost your job. This is a serious life affecting event and can have a huge effect on people. Now say you spent much of your time thinking about:

  • ‘I should have worked harder’
  • ‘Why didn’t I take that course so I would be better’
  • ‘I’m no good’
  • ‘I’m unpopular’
  • ‘Why me’
  • ‘I’m not clever’
  • ‘I’ll never get another job’

These thoughts are like criminals in your mind.

You might spend a few hours a day thinking about these things. These thoughts may run concurrently in your mind and feel like a cloud around your head, stifling you. When your friends and family are talking to you, you might not be listening to what they are saying because you are so wrapped up in what you are thinking. You can’t really read or watch TV properly because you are thinking about the ‘bad stuff’. It starts affecting your sleep. You lose enthusiasm for things you used to enjoy. All because of these thoughts. These thoughts are affecting your enjoyment of life, your relationships and opportunities. You might find it harder to get another job because your self-esteem is low and everything becomes much more difficult.

You need mind COP ne naw ne naw

Mind COP is a good COP. He (or she!) is there, patrolling in your head, looking out for negative thoughts and helping you to; Catch them. Own them. Protect yourself.

Tomorrow I will be showing you mind how COP will protect you against those criminal negative thoughts in your mind. And yes, you really do have the power of arrest (in real life, it’s a citizens arrest ). We will look at how mind COP will help you make arrests and bang the baddies to rights.

Now all this talk about mind COP and criminal negative thoughts is using our imagination. This is the beauty of the mind. It’s imaginative (which is a problem when it creates negative thoughts, phobias and anxiety) but wonderful when it creates excitement, possibility and power.

So let’s imagine mind COP now…. close your eyes (but read this first!). Can you see mind COP? What can you see? Does mind COP have a voice? A uniform? A face? How big is mind COP? How will mind COP help you?

You create your own thoughts you see. With your amazing, powerful, imaginative mind.

Here’s the plan:

  • Keep noting your mind chatter in your notebook
  • Read your gratitude list often
  • Come back tomorrow and I will show you Mind COP in action catching those criminals and keeping your mind safe

Happy hug 🙂

Honey

30 days to a happier you – Day 6 – A good gratitude list

30 days to a happier you – Day 6 – A good gratitude list

gratitude-barry-neil-kaufman-quotes-sayings-pictures

Gratitude lists are talked about a lot now. But rarely are we shown how to write a meaningful one that works.

A gratitude list is a powerful thing. If you capture the things that you are grateful for and they have real meaning to you, it can help you build happiness and can be a source of comfort in difficult times.

 

 

 

 

 

Have a go right now!

It helps if your list has a good variety of things and you understand why you are grateful for what you have written. A bit like ‘I’m grateful for x because it means ‘y’. You might need a few goes before you get the finished article, but along the way you are thinking in a grateful way and a positive way. This is great because you are looking on the world as a good place.  And the even better news is when you look for the good, it lifts you and then you see and feel better. When you have a gratitude list you are happy with, don’t stick it in a cupboard. It’s a living document with a purpose. Stick in somewhere you can see it. Carry a pretty copy on you or in the car. Have it on your phone/computer/hairdryer/xbox.

So what makes a good gratitude list?

gratitude list

 

 

 

 

 

Many people find it hard to write a gratitude list. Here are some examples to help you on your way:

  • Clean water available everywhere I go. Water is the most beneficial drink for my mind and body and quenches my thirst.
  • For being able to read so I can enjoy stories and information abundantly
  • For the sun shining on my face and making me feel good
  • For the rain that cleanses the earth and nourishes the plants and crops
  • The kindness of people and the kindness they show me
  • Trees for giving us oxygen
  • Wind for flying kites and wind farms
  • My sense of humour for seeing the funny side in most things
  • My honesty which makes me a trusted person
  • My baking skills which helps me make lovely things for people
  • Air for every wonderful breath
  • Sleep for renewing my body and making me feel rested and ready for the day
  • Chickens for laying eggs which make many nutritious meals
  • Colours which light up my life and give me pleasure
  • Light for bringing different dimensions to all I see
  • The sea where I can swim, play and fish
  • Animals for their cuteness, their comedy and their companionship
  • My wobbly tummy for giving me babies
  • Teachers of all sorts of lessons which have helped me grow, think differently and exercise in different ways
  • Music for giving my ears pleasure and firing my emotions
  • Food for the pleasure it gives and the nourishment it provides
  • Campfires for their feeling of freedom and wilderness and not forgetting smores
  • Touch so I feel my loved ones skin and stroke their hair
  • Freezer for making ice cubes and my kettle for making cups of tea
  • Yeast for making dough rise for bread
  • My voice so I can read stories to my children and make people laugh
  • My ears which let me hear the tone in someone’s voice which tells me how they feel and the waves crashing on the beach
  • My nose to smell flowers and perfume and also smells to avoid
  • My courage that gets me through difficult times

If you are stuck at what to put on your gratitude list consider nature, animals, the human body or people.

The highest level of gratitude is the gratitude for existence itself.

A negative can make a positive

ebay_logoYou can get things for your gratitude list from negative situations. This is called ‘reframing’. Basically finding the positive in a negative situation. Ebay do it beautifully when they say ‘you’ve won’ the item when you’ve bought it! But ‘winning’ is a feel good word.

 

 

You can find gratitude in most ‘life lessons’ for example if you don’t like someone’s behaviour, you can be grateful that you know how to behave better or that you have the freedom to not be around them.

What’s interesting about gratitude is that it is not about comparing yourself to those less fortunate. People often fall into this trap. We will come to comparing to others in a later blog. It won’t make you feel better to have something that someone else doesn’t have. Gratitude is about noticing and being grateful for things yourself.

Here’s the plan

  • Continue to catch your negative mind chatter – are you noticing a key theme or time it occurs yet?
  • Continue to acknowledge that when a thought comes in, it may not be true 🙂
  • Become a mind COP. Catch it, own it, protect yourself.
  • Do the shake and vac and put the freshness back by making an awesome gratitude list

Work with me

I’m a Hypnotherapist and NLP Master Practitioner that specializes in helping people ‘reset’ in difficult times. We will work through confusion and find confidence and joy in your life. You can email me with any questions or for a free 20 minute consultation. I am on Facebook which I’m very grateful for obvs!

Happy hug 🙂

Honey

 

30 days to a happier you – Day 4 – Mind COP

30 days to a happier you – Day 4 – Mind COP

Dalai-Lama-happiness

The Dalai Lama has said: ‘The very purpose of life is to seek happiness’.

The dictionary defines happiness in several ways including ‘enjoying or expressing pleasure and contentment’ but also ‘well adapted’. I find the ‘well adapted’ particularly interesting as for a lot of people, maintaining happiness or preventing unhappiness will be a job for life.

 

 

 

 

Are you an ‘away from’ or a ‘towards’?

People are driven by ‘away from’ and ‘towards’. Some people will find a situation so undesirable (job, relationship, home) that they will actively seek to change it. These people are driven by ‘away from’. The opposite is towards which means people that aspire towards things like a job they would like, a place they would like to live or a type of home or other things they might want in their life. There is no right or wrong, they are simply different drivers in people. It is useful to understand yours.

So when we talk about happiness, you may be an ‘away from’ trying to keep the wolf from the door and stopping yourself being unhappy. Or you may be a ‘towards’ which means you are looking to be happier. Considering that most people would answer ‘yes’ when asked if they want to be happy and 1 in 3 people suffer from depression. I think we can safety say that we need to address both.

Does your mind need a spring clean?

Imagine your mind is like a room that you spend a lot of time in. Do you want it to be dirty, dark, and untidy and have rotting plates of food hanging around? Out of control? Or do you want it to be clean and fresh and nicely decorated. A place of calm and control? If the answer is the latter, let’s look at some ways to give your mind a bit of a spring clean.

We are already monitoring our mind chatter. That’s the pair of muddy boots trying to come into your room!

You don’t want them in your room because they will leave dirt everywhere. So you see them coming in but either leave them outside the door or clean them up! Keep catching that mind chatter, that’s the voice inside your head that may tell you:

‘I’m not good enough’

‘I can’t do this’

‘I’m ugly’

‘Nobody likes me’

‘It won’t work’

 

You need to become a mind COP. Ne naw ne naw.

mind COP

 

CATCH IT – OWN IT – PROTECT YOURSELF

You are catching those negative thoughts, owning them as your thoughts and protecting yourself against feeling bad or sinking into a spiral of negative thinking. Remember that spiral of negative thinking happens when we attach other negative thoughts or memories to the original negative thought.

 

 

We will be looking at drivers of happiness in later blogs but for now we are focusing on that wolf at the door because we don’t want to let him in and make our heads a mess.

Here’s the plan:

  • Continue to catch your negative mind chatter – are you noticing a key theme or time it occurs yet?
  • Monitor the amount of time you think negatively
  • Start to acknowledge that when a thought comes in, it may not be true 🙂
  • Become a mind COP. Catch it, own it, protect yourself.

Happy hug 🙂

Honey

30 days to a happier you – Oprah is right….

30 days to a happier you – Oprah is right….

Oprah Winfrey

 

Oprah Winfrey knows what she is talking about here because we really do ‘own’ our thoughts and attitude.

 

 

 

Our thoughts control our feelings

Let’s explore what Oprah means more…..Our thoughts make us feel good or bad. We control our thoughts. This isn’t about suppressing emotions, it’s about realising that you can invest in negative thinking and feel less happy or invest in positive thinking and feel better. This is why they say that ‘happiness is an inside job’. We will cover this in much more depth as we go through the next 30 days together.

That voice inside your head

Our minds are constantly thinking. Like a running commentary in our head. It reminds me of that film ‘what women want’ with Mel Gibson when he can hear the women’s voices talking as they think (I think there are other films like this too, let me know!). We have this ‘mind chatter’ going on which is not only thinking of the practical things we need to be thinking about, but also talking to us in a negative or positive way.

What is the voice inside your head saying?

time spent thinking about

Imagine it now, this voice as you go about your day. You get to work, school, shops, whatever and see a friend, you chat and they say, ‘you’re so funny’ and that voice in your head says ‘you’re fun, ha ha, you make people laugh, great’. This creates good feelings for you and makes you feel good about yourself. You call a company about a problem on a bill and it doesn’t go well and the voice says ‘why don’t things go right for me, my life is full of problems’. This creates bad feelings for you and makes you feel worried, stressed and not so good about yourself.

You own your thoughts

When you become more aware of  your own ‘mind chatter’, this is the first step to owning your thoughts. Imagine talking to a child or someone you care about in a negative way. Firstly it doesn’t feel nice to do that and secondly it would be horrible for the recipient. This is what you are doing to yourself if you speak to yourself in a negative way. We will work on this.

Here’s the plan

Get your notebook and pen and catch the negative mind chatter going on in your head, make a note of what it is saying. Just a couple of lines a day. Don’t dwell on it, just catch it. After all, it’s probably not true anyway 🙂

* Please read *

Before you start thinking ‘oh no, she’s one of those that tells me to think positive and doesn’t understand what I’ve been through/what I’m up against’. This is so not the case. I help people ease their pain and smooth their thoughts on a regular basis. The work we do over the next 29 days WILL make a difference.

Happy hug 🙂

Honey

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