My work is ultimately about helping people to feel happy. So many people don’t realise that happiness doesn’t come from other people, outside experiences, or material goods, enjoyable though those things may be! Neither happiness, nor unhappiness, are caused by what’s going on outside of us, happiness is an inside job. How we feel depends upon how and what we think, and no-one can control our thoughts except ourselves.
Most of the time we are unaware of the thousands of thoughts that are going around in our heads throughout the day, and the fact that so many of them are negative. Once we do become aware of them, and learn how to change them, we can begin to change our lives and be able to feel happy pretty much all of the time.
Of course there are times when something genuinely distressing happens, such as being diagnosed with a serious illness, or the death of a loved one. I’m not suggesting we should just easily shrug off our fear or sadness at such times, I’m talking about all the every day trivial things we can allow ourselves to feel upset, annoyed, frustrated, envious, fearful or angry about. Often things we can’t change, things that happened back in the past, things that just may possibly happen in the future – things that really don’t need to affect how we feel in the ‘here and now’.
As a qualified and experienced Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist, EFT Tapping Practitioner, NLP Therapist and Life Coach, I have many tips, tools and techniques on how you can do this and I’m going to share one of them with you now. It’s the rubber band ‘Thought-Stopping Technique’, and this is how it works…
Put a rubber band around your wrist and whenever it catches your eye, pause, and check what your ‘inner chatterbox’ is saying. If it’s criticising, complaining, moaning, worrying, comparing yourself to others, telling yourself off, saying something ‘isn’t fair’, or anything else negative, firmly command it to “STOP!”. Then ping your elastic band, and replace the negative thought with a positive one. Initially, as soon as your attention is distracted, the ‘chatterbox’ will creep back in again because it’s not used to being stopped, but keep doing it for a few days and it will begin to get the message.
If you commit to doing this for several consecutive days, you’ll soon find that those old negative thoughts are hardly ever there, and if they occasionally do pop up, you notice them straight away and stop them in their tracks! As you begin to focus on all the good things in your life, and the many things you have to be thankful for, to live in the present moment instead of the past or the future, and to be kinder to yourself, you will discover that you are the creator of your own happiness.
Toni Mackenzie – Happiness Expert.