Yes, I'm going to do a blog post on one of our products but not necessarily to push a sale. I want to share with you my own personal experience with using the Happy Jar.
I am NOT a person who has much of a routine in any aspect of my life. I am self-employed and my schedule is different pretty much every day and sometimes even week to week. I cannot eat the same thing twice in a week and let's just be honest I don't like routine. BUT, I've come to realize it's the very thing I need more of in my life. Sigh.
My mind doesn't care much for routine either. Let me explain. My thoughts like to be wild and random and all over the place. As I've practiced mindfulness I've come to find that a lot of them are negative. I, like most people, have mental chatter going on throughout the day. I used to not even notice but the more mindful I become the more I can discern my thoughts as helpful or not helpful. I've discovered my inner critic, watched my responses to situations in life come from helplessness, and simply noticed how much negativity is going on upstairs. Once you see, you can't unsee. Something needed to change.
SO I decided I needed to put more positivity into my thoughts. I set this as a general intention and went on with life. What I found was that I kinda forgot about it. The day would go on as usual and time would fly by and without me realizing, I'd lay down to sleep and think oh crap! I forgot to be positive. I knew I had to be more intentional. This is where the Happy Jar came in as tool to help! I committed to use my Happy Jar every night before bed.
I created the Happy Jar based off of one of my favorite concepts from Dr. Rick Hanson. He says, "In effect, the brain is like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones. That shades “implicit memory” – your underlying expectations, beliefs, action strategies, and mood – in an increasingly negative direction." We need to PRACTICE the good.
I realized that I was ending my day with negativity. I would think about everything that went wrong or what I could've done better. I then would take that with me into sleep and into the next day. So now, each night I get one of my cute little paper strips from the Happy Jar and think through my day to find what made me happy. This is a little different than gratitude. Gratitude to me, is finding the blessings in life; the gifts that we can so easily take for granted. Looking for what makes me happy helps me get to know myself better. It shows me what lights my heart on fire, puts a smile on my face, or leads me in the direction of joy without explanation. As I'm finding happy I'm also finding myself.
Most of the time I forget all of the tiny moments throughout the day when I smile because of something or someone. Most of the time it's simple things that make me happy. For example, my happy moment yesterday was having a conversation about healing herbs versus pharmecueticals with the cashier at Trader Joe's. The point is, it's easy to gloss over the positive and we need to look for it, and then rehearse it. Some nights it's easy and other nights I have to really look, especially if it's been a bad day. But, I take joy in the looking because this means I'm choosing to find the good and I'm rehearsing it as I write it down.
My favorite part of the Happy Jar is when I've filled it up, which I haven't yet. I'll go back and immerse myself in all of the Happy moments I've collected over the months. This allows me to practice the good AGAIN which the more we practice, the more we rewire our brains to see the positive and hold onto it. This has become a small piece of me intentionally inviting routine into my life. There are nights that I miss, but not many because it's slowly yet surely becoming a new habit. THAT my friends is what the ABC's of Happy is all about, PRACTICING Happy!