I recently went to London to get some fresh ideas and keep on trend with what I teach. In one of the studios' on the beautiful Kings Road my eye was caught by something, a "happiness journal". Now, initially I dismissed it as a whimsical trinket of people with a little bit too much money and not enough common sense, especially with a price mark of £21. Seriously are we in a day and age where we have to have to 'buy', happiness and have a jazzy book to record it all down?
I went home, I had a rotter of a week and suddenly wondered if this was karma... Was I being punished for my scornful attitude, was there more to this 'happiness journal' than meets the eye? No I'm not suggesting some sort of ninja powers claiming me from afar, I'm not an idiot, it just got me thinking...
I then read an article that championed positive distractions (think cute dog being walked that makes you squeal like you've just eaten an entire party of helium balloons), with research claiming that it makes your mind sharper, whilst negative distractions interfere with working memory, making it harder to concentrate. Perhaps, the recording of such positive interactions, the recognition of good happenings, that is just the medicine we need to keep us happy?
Next I stumbled across the following message making the rounds of social media:
I suppose love and being happy is inextricably linked, so if you don't love yourself pretty high up on the list does that mean that you're doomed to be unhappy? With Valentines Day scampering up, I began to wonder is it enough for someone else to love you to make you happy? In fact, so many pesky fishes of thoughts swum around my mind that I felt positively philosophical. So I decided to do my own bit of scientific research and go to the gym.
The gym is the way many individuals seek to carve and shape ourselves, to keep ourselves healthy and fit, to make us happy. So I decided to people watch, to start off with my attention focused on the ladies busting out their cardio on the cross trainers, there were two women clearly very close friends, laughing and joking as they worked out. Now I know some hard nosed personal trainers would say "well what a pointless workout, shouldn't interact, shouldn't be able to speak, not working hard enough." Hmmm I would say to them, not pointless, you're simply missing the 'point', here are two people clearly enjoying each others company, still getting hot and sweaty and making a positive move to take their coffee morning out of the shop and onto the gym floor, good on them!
Then inevitably I was drawn to the grunts of the lads from the weights area. All posturing and posing, vying to get a spot where they could check out their 'form' in the mirror. Yes, it was primal, but they were damn proud of what they were achieving and they wanted to share the results not only with others, but their own reflections too. And seriously, why not,they deserve to.
Finally, I saw the older crowd using the machines, not really going for it but little secret smiles would emerge every now and then, as if pride that they were keeping up with technology, that they were connected, that they weren't being left behind.
So, 'happiness journal', although you are grossly overpriced, I take it back, you have a point, and you made me think, which is all you really wanted wasn't it?