Advice To Be Your Happiest Self + Avoid The Winter Blues

While I hate to be THAT person that talks about the rain…it’s been raining a LOT here in Vancouver. Like, we broke a record in Vancouver in October for 28 days of rain, and I’m sure we’re on track to break a record for November too.

In the early days of October it was bothering me. It was probably also the fact that I had just taken a month off to get married and galavant around Fiji (rough, eh?!) and was now back, with Adam gone, trying to get back into the swing of things with work.

Photo Credit: The Daily Hive

One evening, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed (as one does), and I came across Catherine, of The Life Delicious. She was running a one day retreat here in Vancouver that just looked awesome, so I decided to join! While I know the nutrition side of what she offered, I was interested in the mindset piece. Anyway, long story short, it was a fabulous experience and I highly recommend it.

What does this have to do with being happy?

Well, prior to the retreat, Catherine sent us some videos to watch as pre-work. This video below gave me a huge “A-HA” moment. It might seem obvious, but trust me, it is pretty game changing and has been working for me for the last month!

First of all, watch this Ted Talk, by Rick Hanson called Hardwiring Happiness. It’s a very worthwhile 13 minutes!!

 

Here’s the recap:

  • Our brains are programmed to have a negativity bias. This means that if you experience 5 great things in a day, and 1 small bad thing, you will likely focus on the bad thing. (This stems from a survival technique from our ancestors.)
  • Typically, when you experience something good, it happens and then you move on.
  • If you actually relish in that good thing though, it will stick with you beyond just the moment, and help to change your brain to more of a happiness bias, In other words, it can change your brain for the better!
  • Simply thinking and remembering more happier thoughts actually rewires your brain to feel happier! Put another way, you have 100% control of how happy you are.

28 days of rain? Well, if you focus on how grey it is, and all the downsides of the rain, of course it will be crappy. Or, if you focus on the 16 amaaaazing days of Sun in Fiji, and all the great things happening around you (regardless of the rain), you simply feel happier.

Sounds silly that it’s so simple right? But, if you are struggling with feeling down, I assure you this works.

The next part is important.

How do you think and remember these happier thoughts?

A gratitude journal is a great way and this is part of the science behind why a gratitude journal actually works. It makes you think of happy thoughts – things you are grateful for – and keeps them top of mind.

Not only does this help get you through a dreary time of year, but it will also prepare you better to deal with hard things that come your way.

The TED Talk that I linked above actually walks you through an example of doing the exercise. I hope I’ve made sense here, and if not, this Ted Talk may clear it up! 🙂

I hope you found this useful. Next week I’ll be back with an important nutrient that most of us are deficient in, that also impacts your happiness!

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