Do you pause to really savor praise, contentment and joy? Sometimes? Rarely? You should! According to Dr. Rick Hanson, by sustaining a positive experience for longer and giving the brain a chance to absorb it, we create new paths in our brain. By making a practice of this (half a dozen times a day) and accessing those pathways often, we are able to hardwire ourselves for happiness and overcome negativity. I love this idea!
Like stopping to smell the roses, by taking an extra moment to really feel your physical and mental reactions to those roses, not only will it bring you greater happiness in the moment, it allows you to experience greater joy in the future.
I do so love to savor ordinary pleasures - like the feeling of satisfaction when I reach the bottom of the laundry basket (once a month!), the weight of my baby in my arms as he rests his head on my shoulder and sucks his thumb to sleep, the thrill of receiving an order for a piece of jewellery. Pausing to breathe in those moments is what it's all about, isn't it?
I've ordered Dr Rick's book from the library to find out more. I've also made a little list of things that make me happy, that might make you happy too!
A hot cup of tea
Fresh flowers on my dining room table
Handmade soap in the shower
Reading a book in a pool of sunlight, with a cup of tea
Going for a walk
A new stack of library books
A freshly made bed
A clear dining and coffee table
Re-reading much loved books (Sophie's World, The Great Gatsby, The Book Thief)
Ticking something off a to do list
Finishing a project
Baking - anything and everything, but especially scones, banana cake, ANZAC biscuits and brownies
Eating something you have grown
Posting a surprise letter or postcard to a loved one
Watching children play joyfully
Patting a pet
A new notebook or pen
What's on your list?