Happiness Button Series Part 1
This is the first session of a four part series about finding and maintaining your happiness button. Each session is divided into two parts. The first part is the background and didactic review of that sessions teaching. The second part of each session is a hands on experiential process or technique for you to follow that provides the actual experience reviewed in the first part of the session.
Part 1 Finding sensation within the body
Throughout the day the shifting tides of emotion sweeps through and around our body, mind and spirit. We have moments within each day or hour of joy, sorrow, energy, boredom, restlessness, lethargy, doubt and exuberance. Among these varied emotions is a somewhat measurable individual default emotion referred to as our happiness quotient. It is a merging of all of the emotions and is related to a scale that most researchers find stays relatively constant. Although it is easily raised or lowered for short periods of time it takes some effort to effectively change your happiness quotient and maintain a higher level.
This series focuses on a body centered approach to finding your happiness button and to be able and accustomed to pressing it at will. By repeatedly spending additional time in happiness your happiness quotient will rise.
Happiness is experienced by both the mind and body. When your kids are seen at the airport returning from camp you experience both the thoughts and bodily sensations of happiness. At the same airport when waiting for your flight to be called and the electronic board flashes it was just cancelled both your thoughts and your body experience unhappiness. Both of the above examples describe circumstances that occur outside of yourself that create a response inside of yourself. This is natural and part of life.
In addition to happiness as a natural response to outside circumstances happiness can also be a response to inside direction.
Think a thought and imagine winning a sought after prize or contest and you may experience both the mind and bodily experience of happiness. Recall an unwanted experience and your mind and body respond accordingly.
In time you may start to recognize the sensation of happiness and unhappiness within your body. You notice that when you are happy you tend to smile and when unhappy you tend to frown. The same area of your face is used to experience and express both sides of this emotion. Gradually you begin to sense the connection between the shifting of the muscles around your lips into a smile or a frown and the way you are feeling. You know the age old adage that tells you to put on a happy face or whistle a happy tune. Sometimes you actually do that, you move your lips into a smile or you actually whistle or hum and it just feels like a false sense of happiness. It is not genuine happiness. The internal underlying emotion is barely covered up and it shows its head right through your smiling lips. However, it gives you a moment to reflect that perhaps you do have a choice. You have the choice of remaining unhappy or shifting into choosing to be happy.
Is happiness actually a choice that can be consciously made?
Can you make the choice and become willing to explore the possibility of choosing genuine happiness?
Steps to follow
Awareness of not being happy
Moving lips into a smiling position
Remembering I would rather be happy
Dropping the resistance to the unhappiness that is there
Choosing the direction of happiness
Now that you have paused the unhappiness or the lack of being happy you can look at finding a way into a state of genuine happiness. You have begun to see through the clouded vision of unhappiness and have chosen to find your way to raise your happiness quotient so that the default position is higher on the scale.
You start to think, “I am now willing to be happier. I am willing to drop the unhappiness that I have been carrying around with me.”
The first question to ask is.
“Am I as happy as I can be, right now?”
If your answer in this moment is no, then the second question is
“What is blocking that happiness, right now?”
There are five major hindrances to happiness that will be the subject of part four of this series.
First we need to continue finding a way to develop and feel the internal sensations of our emotions.
The best method is a hands on experience.
20 small about 2 inch by 2 inch pieces of paper
pen or pencil
Recall 10 happy experiences that you enjoy recalling
Recall 10 unhappy experiences that you do not like to think about
Write down all 20 of the above, one thought on each piece of paper
Fold each paper in half, place in the bowl and mix up
Find a quiet place and time and invest five minutes in exploring the sensations that will guide you into finding your happiness button.
Select a note from the bowl read it and sense your body posture for 3 to 5 seconds.
Select another note read it and again sense your body posture for 3 to 5 seconds.
Continue until all the notes have been selected.
Can you see the pattern that has been unconsciously followed? For the happy notes was your body posture different that the unhappy notes? Like the smiling and frowning lips at the airport can you find the area of muscle change or body posture that responded to the happy and unhappy notes?
This seems really simple doesn’t it? And it really is that simple. Within you is everything you need, its already there waiting to lead you to your happiness button.
No time? Try this. At a traffic light recall happy and unhappy experiences and practice “feeling” the shift within you. Build up the muscle of your happiness button with repetition and practice. In time you will be able to soften and dissolve any tightness in this muscle and release waves of genuine happiness.
This then becomes happiness without a cause from the outside.