So what is happiness? And how can we attain it, even maintain it?
For many people it is about 3 things;
Love, Joy & Health;
Love - Family, friends, neighbours, community & loved ones. Often it's the small things we do that matter and make a difference. Send that postcard, make that phone call, smile & say hello.
Joy - Being in the moment (sometimes easier said than done), & also doing playful or spontaneous things. Being open, curious and not taking ourselves too seriously all the time.
Health - In the moments when you don't have it you realise how important it is... so don't take it for granted. Be kind, look after and care for yourself.
A 75 year long study by Harvard University reveals the one thing you need for a happier and healthier life…
But it is something that Hypnotherapist Milton H. Erickson taught his students and patients for years…
Who was the hypnotherapist Milton H. Erickson?
Watch Milton H. Erickson here;
Milton Hyland Erickson (5 December 1901 – 25 March 1980) was an American psychiatrist and psychologist specializing in medical hypnosis and family therapy. He was founding president of the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis and a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychopathological Association. He is noted for his approach to the unconscious mind as creative and solution-generating. He is also noted for influencing brief therapy, strategic family therapy, family systems therapy, solution focused brief therapy, and neuro-linguistic programming.
Erickson frequently drew upon his own experiences to provide examples of the power of the unconscious mind. He was largely self-taught. A great many of his anecdotal and autobiographical teaching stories were collected by Sidney Rosen in the book ‘My Voice Will Go With You’. Erickson identified many of his earliest personal experiences as hypnotic or autohypnotic.
At age 17, he contracted polio and was so severely paralysed that the doctors believed he would die. In the critical night when he was at his worst, he had another formative "autohypnotic experience".
“As I lay in bed that night, I overheard the three doctors tell my parents in the other room that their boy would be dead in the morning. I felt intense anger that anyone should tell a mother her boy would be dead by morning. My mother then came in with as serene a face as can be. I asked her to arrange the dresser, push it up against the side of the bed at an angle. She did not understand why, she thought I was delirious. My speech was difficult. But at that angle by virtue of the mirror on the dresser I could see through the doorway, through the west window of the other room. I was damned if I would die without seeing one more sunset. If I had any skill in drawing, I could still sketch that sunset”.
“I saw that vast sunset covering the whole sky. But I know there was also a tree there outside the window, but I blocked it out.
It was that selective perception that enabled Erickson to say he was in an altered state.
“ I did not do it consciously. I saw all the sunset, but I didn't see the fence and large boulder that were there. I blocked out everything except the sunset.”.
Erickson was an avid medical student and became a world famous hypnotherapist, and hence the world famous Ericksonian Therapy was born into the world.
More wise words from Milton H. Erickson;
So, what can we say about happiness and what conclusions can we draw?
Ultimately, relationships are the most important thing in our lives and will ultimately bring us happiness. Primarily the relationship we have with ourselves, and then our relationships with others.
They can be relationships with loved ones, family, friends, neighbours, community, social groups, colleagues, associates, peers, etc etc... any type of relationship in fact.
A relationship of any kind can allow us to do things for others, to experience gratitude, and to practice giving, kindness, and to not only concentrate on ourselves.
It can make us self-less, and bring deep connections with others. It is these connections with others which will improve our health, mind, body and spirit.
So if you do only one thing today, make it an act of kindness towards another.
Make a friend, make a connection, make a relationship!!