Are you happy? Does happiness seem elusive with an here-today-gone-tomorrow appearance in your life? The truth is that searching for happiness is a pointless quest. It’s simply not out there. But, don’t let that dissuade you from your desire to be happy! The good news is that you can create happiness. It’s within the ability of everyone to be happy*. In my series Creating Happiness, I will show you how.
Last week I gave you three mindfulness practices that I do each day. I hope you’ve made time in your day to practice them, as well. If you haven’t read last week’s Creating Happiness post, find it here.
This week I want to talk about creating happiness by waving your magic wand.
What? You don’t have a magic wand?
Sure, you do. It’s called an imagination! We’re going to exercise it today.
Often times we get bogged down in the day-to-day. Unless you are dealing with medical issues such depression or anxiety, you may simply be stuck in the grasp of a mundane life. Getting out of that state requires creating excitement and possibility where you may have forgotten they ever existed.
I want you to pretend that you have a magic wand. With the wave of your wand, you can create the life that you want. You can create whatever makes you happy! Can you think of one thing that would make you happy?
You may have an immediate answer. For example, you may want to lose weight. You might believe that losing weight would make you happy.
If you are having a little trouble thinking of even one thing that would make you happy, don’t worry. Just follow along for the next part.
Now, let’s say you chose weight loss as your ticket to happiness. What now? Well, obviously if losing weight was the only thing standing between you and your happiness, you would do whatever it takes to lose weight!
Or, maybe you’ve already tried to lose weight and know first hand that achieving it is not as simple as wanting it.
Let’s try something different instead. Let’s try focusing on what you would feel like if you actually lost the weight.
Happy is the easy answer, folks! You’ve got to do better than that! Really dig deep and imagine what you would feel if you woke up tomorrow morning at your ideal, healthy weight.
You’d probably feel relieved, lighter, proud, attractive, accomplished, and yes, happy.
You can substitute almost any thing you want and find that if you achieved it, you’d have some positive feelings about it.
For the next week, I want you to practice imagining how you’d feel if you had whatever it is you believe stands between you and happiness. Yes, that’s all you have to do this week. Just spend a few minutes each day pretending as if you have waved a magic wand, acquired the ticket to your happiness and are basking in the positive feelings that it brings.
You may spend the rest of your day under a gray cloud–and that’s your choice–but for just a few minutes each day, find it, fake it, and feel it. You’re under no obligation to carry on in contrived happiness for any longer than a few minutes, but at least allow yourself that for the next 7 days.
I know you’re probably thinking that certainly there is more creating to happiness than a “fake it ’til you make it” mindset. I agree that there is. We’ll talk about the next step next week.
Don’t forget your daily mindfulness practices, as well!
*Creating Happiness posts are not a replacement professional advice. (Disclaimer) Please visit AAMFT for a list of licensed therapists in your area.