Happiness is a Learned Behaviour

woman stands head to head with adorable daughter looking smiling in kitchen
by lucie kasna

The secret of being happy is believing that you are

We all want to be happy, right? As a mother of two, I have experienced pure states happiness, of course, but there have also been some pretty low moments—when everything is overwhelming—every noise is annoying and every time I hear “mom” I just want to cry.

Recently I’ve not been happy and I’ve reacted with emotions that I’m not proud of, which make me feel guilty. I’ve found myself in the cycle of overreacting, followed by guilt and then judging myself for being human. All of those emotions and actions are learned behaviours.

Rebecca Hintze explains in her podcast, that is part of Mental Health month, that my behavioural patterns are based on what learnt when I was young from my parents. As a parent myself, I found this scary and fascinating at the same time. How we react every day, even to the simplest of things, teaches our children behavioural patterns.

A common saying is that before you die, you see your whole life flash in front of you—the best moments. Well, today after listening to the podcast I saw every bad behaviour and emotional reaction flash in front of my eyes too and I wasn’t proud. However I am happy about my new awareness, as knowledge is empowering as it gives me the opportunity to make positive change.

How to find happiness

We have to commit to be happy. Life is happening all around us and sometimes it’s just not pretty. However, if we decide that we will be happy, we can be, regardless of external events.

If someones wants to heal, improve or be just a little bit happier, they have to look in the mirror and be honest with themselves. What is not working, what do I need to do to shift change. I totally had my mirror up today.

We get so caught up in life, in our routine that we forget about our dreams. Without dreams our life can lack meaning…

Our dreams are tied to our potential, what we are supposed and meant to do. It can be even the smallest thing that gives us the feeling of achievement and happiness.

Dreams can be our goals. Set your goals and dreams in pursuit of happiness.

The reason why goals are important is that brain recognises achievements and rewards us. It’s a simple chemical reaction that happens in our brain, accomplishment and release of endorphins.

When we don’t have goals, the brain doesn’t know we have achieved something, it doesn’t release this happy little fella, endorphin, as a reward. So you can do some awesome stuff in your life, but never feel the sweet satisfaction.

If we’re feeling depressed, our brain sends out negative messages of worthlessness and doubt, for example. In those times having a dream is the hardest thing to do. It’s because we’ve lost our sense of belief in ourself and we have to nurture it back.

Nurture Belief in Yourself by:

  1. Pick a goal or dream
  2. Believe in the goal or dream, in yourself, that you can do it
  3. Make an action plan?—?start with baby steps, be responsible and accountable to yourself.

It is important to work with the patterns of our thinking. We have to recognise when we have negative thoughts, and to try and shift them.

Sometimes things happen but we have the choice about how we respond. Being committed to the positive response is half the job done.

It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Some of it is neurochemicals and some of it is thinking patterns. Some of the neurochemicals are because of thinking patterns and some of the thinking patterns are because of neurochemicals. Then it’s sleep, exercise and diet, how your parents teach you to think through a problem, and address problems, what was their solution for problem solving? What we practice, even small daily tasks, our children will learn from that.

Habits can be changed within 21 days of consistent effort and practice. Start today by setting your goals, believe in yourself that you deserve the life of your dreams and take action towards it, even if it is one small step. Review your progress regularly and celebrate even the smallest of wins!

21 ideas to support your happiness: 

  1. Choose happiness when you wake up in the morning
  2. Sing and dance
  3. Select your symbol: ?jewellery, charm, screensaver, picture
  4. Dress up and ?feel amazing
  5. Phone a friend
  6. Keep a journal
  7. Serve others?, find someone that needs YOU and give back to community
  8. Practice gratitude
  9. Declutter your space 
  10. Go for a walk
  11. Play
  12. Take a nap
  13. Breath deeply
  14. Eat healthily
  15. Recognise miracles
  16. Relax
  17. Let go
  18. Smell the roses?: smells are powerful, get your fav essential oil
  19. Have lunch with a friend, or by yourself
  20. Pamper yourself
  21. LOVE big time
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