Happiness requires regular positivity checks

Happiness requires regular positivity checks

I’ve recently been practicing what I preach by which I mean that just as I encourage many of the people to whom I talk to seek out, where appropriate, expert assistance such as clinical psychology or therapy services and/or positive psychology coaching…I too have been seeking expert assistance to help me address two issues in my life.

Specifically, I’ve just started working with the Voice Coach who’s helping me learn how to better breathe when I present and how to project my voice when I’m speaking in public without straining my throat. And also, I’ve started a Pilates program to help me avoid the next and back pain I occassionaly get after spending too many hours typing away on my laptop!

Now I don’t necessarily expect you to be interested in my breathing or spinal cord but there is, trust me, something of relevance in these activities to those of you seeking more happiness and wellbeing…

…and that is that what I’ve already learned from both my “coaches” is that I need to conduct regular scans and checks on (1) my breathing and (2) my posture.

This may well seem pretty obvious to many of you out there who’ve tried similar re-training programs and I admit that it hasn’t been a huge surprise to me but just the other day, when I was conducing one of my “posture checks” I realised that this too could apply to happiness. My posture check, for example, begins in my hips and lower back, moves up through my middle/thoracic spine, then on to my shoulders, neck, chin and head. It struck me that having that routine was very helpful and that it made it difficult to forget any one component. I then thought that having something similar for happiness, based on the scientifically proven principles of positive psychology, would be incredibly useful.

So, with this in mind, I present to you a model for a regular positivity check; try it out, play around with it; modify it to suit your situation and personality but, most importantly, do it on a regular basis. So, start your routine by checking…

  • Am I focusing on real priorities?
  • Am I on tract to achieve at least one of my goals today?
  • Have I taken care of my health – via relaxation/meditation practice, healthy eating, some exercise?
  • For what can I be grateful today?
  • How will I know if today is a success?
  • What can I do to bring about more happiness tomorrow?
  • How, where and when can I practice kindness, compassion, forgiveness, love?
  • How can I fully use my strengths today?
  • Where and when can I have fun?

Now obviously, as noted above, this list can be added to, modified, refined and adjusted to suit different people…but once you’ve found your key questions or checks, make sure you schedule in regular reviews and then make sure you let us know how you fare!