Written by: Lesley Tait, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
We’re all doing it with the very best of intentions. We want to provide for our families and create a better lifestyle for ourselves. Unwittingly we embark on a never ending search for happiness or a quest for self improvement. Just like any bad habit, we’re trapped in it.
At a profound level we all know that happiness has to come from within. Yet on a daily basis we’re constantly searching for a quick fix, or for something that’s going to fill a perceived void.
Is it any wonder given the mass messaging we imbibe on a daily basis? The messages that tell us that to be happy we need a shiny new object or a new experience. If we have a new car we’ll be happy. If we have a bigger house we’ll be happy. Maybe if we look a certain way we’ll be happy or if we get a promotion with a fancy new job title, then all our problems will be solved.
So we buy the car, get the promotion and lose a tonne of weight. It’s still there. That desire, that needing hasn’t gone away. The fulfilment we’re searching for hasn’t gone away because the goal post has been moved. Or maybe the goal post was just in the wrong place to start with.
As we live in this state of constant wanting, of being lured by powerful external forces, we’ve been led to believe that we need fixing.
Like it or not the illusory truth effect of advertising tells us that all the time. Everywhere we look we’re being manipulated into thinking we’re not enough as we are. The internet, social media,television, retail. They all tell us that we need more, driving our constant search for happiness. And once we jump on that hamster wheel it feels almost impossible to alight. It’s monetisation of our manipulated fear.
No wonder that health leaders in the UK are dubbing mental health as the second pandemic. And believable projections from the NHS that approx 10 million people in the UK will need additional or new support for their mental health in the next 3 to 5 years.
So what would it feel like to take that longing away? What if we could just be happy with who and what we are? What if our happiness didn’t depend on the number of followers or the the likes of our latest social media post. If we didn’t need to feel we needed to validate our lives through social media.
If only everyone could see the beauty inside of them and realise that they are completely whole as they are. Just because life told us we’re not enough we don’t need to believe it, it’s lying to us, and we already have everything we need to be happy.
Undoubtedly we would present differently. How we perceive situations and other people would be different and how they respond to us would also change. Perhaps our connections would find this so irresistibly compelling that it could change families, networks even communities.
Having the courage to stand in our own choices is a big brave move, so where can we start?
Finding out who we are when we remove the labels. When we discard the label of mother, father, wife. Or nurse, lawyer or student. Ask yourself when you take away your labels who remains there and how would you describe yourself? Yes it’s difficult but there’s more to us than we think.
Stop comparing ourselves to others. Notice when comparison happens, who or what are you comparing yourself to and make a note of these. Notice how this negatively impacts you and make a conscious decision to become more vigilant so you can catch yourself in future.
3. Practice gratitude.
Accept the situations we find ourselves in for what they are. We can’t possibly go through life without any heartache or challenges, yet our automatic response is to the fix or eliminate them immediately. Instead of trying to fix them we could just roll with the ebb and flow of life and allow them to be.
Catch yourself in judgement or self loathing when you don’t feel as good as you think you should. A reflective practice of journaling can be really useful for heightening our awareness around our judgements, and bring us closer to more self acceptance and self love.
Lesley Tait, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Lesley Tait is a certified Holistic Wellbeing Coach. Lesley helps busy women searching for balance whilst juggling career, family and personal commitments. Lesley helps them build energy, resilience, confidence & courage, and create healthy, sustainable habits that stick and grow. Lesley has featured in Forbes Magazine, Wellbeing Magazine and has written articles and Op Eds for a number of other leading publications. Prior to running a successful coaching business Lesley enjoyed a 33 year career in sales and commercial management.