The Happiness Connection  

Feeling down? Change it up

I’m a fan of watching the Olympics. I often clear my calendar as much as possible so I can enjoy the competitions. But this year was different, like it has been in so many ways.

I didn’t want to stay up all night to see live coverage, so I recorded all the CBC broadcasts. The radio usually announces the day’s highlights when I’m getting up, so I know what I want to see. Fast forwarding to these sections has helped me be discerning with my time.

I often catch a little bit of live action early in the evening, and when I first get up.

This was the case for the 4 X 100 men’s relay, and the second half of the Canadian women’s gold medal soccer match, on Friday. I was elated to see both teams reach the podium, in real time.

I was especially happy for the soccer squad who won bronze medals in the last two Olympics. This time, they wanted to achieve more. And they did. They won gold.

They adopted the motto, change the colour, after the Rio Olympics.

I think most of us would benefit from using a variation of this saying in our own lives. If you don’t like your life, work, relationship, or whatever, you have the power to change it.

You might think a wonderful partner, new job, or exciting adventure would do the trick, but positive psychologists have repeatedly shown that your environment doesn’t have a lasting effect when it comes to being happy.

The only thing that can alter how you perceive your reality, is you. If there’s an area of your life that you aren’t satisfied with, you have the power to change it.

You may be like an Olympian and know exactly what you want. Or you may be more like me. My life feels stagnant and dull, but I’m not sure what I should change to make it better. It’s like I’m suffering from the side effects of COVID restrictions, intense heat, and smoke.

My resilience has got me through the past year or two, but now my energy is depleted. My pool of vibrancy is empty. How do I refill it?

I’d love to say that I have the perfect answer for anyone in the same position who may be reading this. Sadly, I don’t. In reality, I don’t even have an answer for myself.

However, what I do know is that either I’ll figure something out, or this feeling will pass before an answer presents itself. Nothing lasts forever.

We’re all unique. What works for me, might not be right for you. However, I think it’s worth sharing the approach I’ve settled on. It might spark an idea for a wonderful strategy for you, or you may be able to tweak my plan.

  • Set an intention for how you want to feel. Sometimes you work towards a goal, only to discover it didn’t make you feel the way you thought it would. Emotional objectives can make it easier to navigate the unexpected without feeling defeated.
  • Use your intention to make decisions. When opportunities arise, evaluate them based on whether they’re moving towards your emotional aim. If you aren’t sure, give them a try. You may make a surprising discovery.
  • Trust. I believe that everything that happens serves each one of us. Challenges may help you move forward or teach an important lesson. You won’t always recognize the gift immediately but have faith that whatever’s happening is assisting you in some way.
  • Know you are resilient. Trust your intuition to guide you. Remind yourself of the challenges you’ve already survived. You’ll get through this one, too.
  • Take at least one small step every day, towards the way you want to feel. Sometimes that means looking for a new perspective, being grateful for what you have, or stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new.

You can’t change the world around you, but you can adjust the way you approach and interpret it.

Look for fun, beauty, and positive energy in everything you see and do. Change up your routine. Connect with friends and family you haven’t seen in a while.

If you want something different, you have to do things differently. Take a lesson from our Olympic champion women’s soccer team. If you don’t like what you have, change it.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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