Today I felt discouraged. I wasn’t feeling well. I have a meeting tomorrow at work that isn’t going to turn out in my favor. I haven’t been able to commit to my crafting to the extent that I wish I could. These are all very minor things, but any source of unhappiness should be addressed if you become conscious of it to avoid overwhelming your mind. Stress builds very quickly, feeds off of itself, and can have harmful effects on both the mental and physical well being.
Whenever I feel discouraged, my favorite relief technique is through centering myself for 10 seconds of happiness. There’s a number of ways that this can be done. Centering yourself and pushing out distractions during this time is critical. I’m a relatively visual person, so I tend to visualize my mind and my energy, I can usually watch all of the distractions that are racing around my mind and slowly push them away until I can contently see my mind is distanced from everything for the moment. Then the best part begins.
You can see your stressors racing around, no matter how big or how small, but they are distanced. This all in itself is temporary relief knowing that you don’t have to touch them or put any focus on them right now. They zip around on the horizon like cars on the freeway; I usually envision them as lights in the night because I’ve always particularly liked that image.
Then you pick a memory, or an image, or a person, or anything really that brings you happiness. Pick a moment that you wish you could live in forever- reliving memories is the only way you can! Today I remembered last summer in Ontario, Canada. It was the first year that we we brought our huskies. Since the area is so secluded, they could run off leash to their hearts’ content. They ran down the river side by side, careful not to get deeper than their paws. Then they would race back up the trails, tongues hanging out the sides of their mouths, freedom and ecstasy radiating from their expressions. After their exploration, they would slowly trek back inside the cabin, tongues still hanging out the side, as if they had just experienced the most joy that they ever had in their lives. Rufus would come in and cuddle with someone, Zephyr would find a spot alone on the floor or an open couch where she could stretch out and both would be asleep in minutes.
Happiness through simplicity. That’s always been my favorite kind. Reliving these memories to their fullest, seeing the details in full clarity, smelling the smoke from last night’s fire, feeling the sun’s warmth through the cool breeze blowing off of the river. All it takes it 10 seconds, then the stress stops feeding, and you can take a breath in your moment of calm. Take this moment to remember that these stressors don’t define you, the moments and memories of happiness do.
“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is’.” – Kurt Vonnegut
Free Spirit Babe