The last blog I posted was 4 days ago, and the next morning I found myself not happy with the result. I find myself riddled with doubts and buried in negative self-talk about what was I even trying to do. I took a deep breath. No one said change was easy, so I tried this method PATH.
PATH to Emotions:
Instead of letting my negative self-talk mask my true emotions, I decided to try a method I have seen in a few places but I think Mental Health America did an excellent job summing it with up the steps:
1. Pause – I paused and realized the negative self-talk was me deflecting my true feelings, which is neither helpful nor constructive. The self-talk was defensive and my usual mechanism for dealing with unpleasant emotions. Yes, there is doubt in my abilities to be a successful blogger but I’m sure everyone has that when starting a new venture.
2. Acknowledge what you’re feeling – I was feeling dissatisfied with the post. I felt it was rushed and did not have good content. I knew it could have been better. While this is my journey and I want to share it with you as my reader, I felt embarrassed by the blog because if you show up as a reader, I want to show up as a writer and bring you useful and insightful information which frankly I felt the last post lacked. Lastly, I felt selfish. To put myself first and talk about how I want to be happy seems like a self-centered mission. However, as I started to think about that, I remembered that when you get on an airplane they always tell you to put the face mask for air on yourself first before you help the others around you. Also, I firmly believe that happy people are typically kinder, more productive, and more likely to help others in need within their community. So, I need to focus on myself first right now so I can be a better friend, partner, family member, and even a better member of society.
3. Think – I started thinking about how I could improve myself, my writing, and my blog to ensure that it is something I could feel good about. This blog is intended to break the old routines and to appreciate life today and while I did make time to write - what did I actually commit to doing? So, I started thinking the blog needs a clearer purpose. It needs a vision. I decided to think big and not let doubt bring me down or put bias on my ideas. So, I answered the question: What do I want this to be in 5 years?
4. Help – Time for action! I took a few days and wrote down all the things I would want for myself and this blog. I started a new site: J2Happiness.com. I put time and effort into its structure and did the best I could to build it into the framework I want it to become.
What did I change:
A. I created a Vision statement to focus my efforts – “J2H represents being part of a community of people who put value in finding fulfillment in their lives through appreciating and connecting with the world around them.” This vision statement helped me understand that what I want from this blog is not only to improve my own life but to connect with others and hopefully help them as well.
B. Organized my blog into three parts:
Happiness Research – here I will share information, articles, and studies that I come across that inspire me with practical techniques I want to try. I will also choose an action from that information that I am deciding to do. As I work full time and attend school in the evenings I understand being pressed for time, so I will choose actions that are quick and affordable. Everyone no matter how busy they are deserves some time for their well-being! You only live once.
Happiness Measured – here I will share my experiences, pictures, maybe even videos of the activities I am doing. Maybe you will find it inspiring, or maybe you will find it just entertaining 😊 but either way I am going to put my energy and focus into finding joy in the simple things around me! I will also be measuring my progress with some general metrics which I added to the website as well, for all my fellow data nerds out there! 😉
Inspirational Shares – this will be simply anything else I find enlightening, inspiring or simply fun. I will share articles, videos, and even some of my own creative writing here for you to read.
C. Lastly, I started a Forum. This is for you to share with me and other people following the blog. I want to create a community. I want to connect with others who are focused on living the best versions of themselves. So, feel free to add your own stories, your own creativity, what happiness techniques help you, and inspiring information you want to share!
Action! All the best intentions in the world will not get me anywhere without a plan. I talked about brain balance in my last post and how I think using both sides of my brain daily could help in my journey to happiness. The two sites where I found this information are here: whole brain synchronization written by the EOC Institute explaining that mediation helps activate both parts of the brain which can unlock our greater brain potential, and this study posted in the Positive Journal of Psychology that worked with 658 students who tracked their well-being after being more creative for 13 days and found a positive correlation between creativity and overall happiness.
Today is the Day for Action!
Like I mentioned above I want to try the methods I research in my own life and share those experiences with you. I want the actions to be small but effective, so they can be added to my already busy schedule. I want to see if I can improve my overall fulfillment in life by appreciating some of what life has to offer. As the old saying goes I am going to take the time to stop and smell the roses.
My first focus will be to add one creative activity a day into my routine to see if it helps improve my overall well-being and brain focus.
I know it’s a small goal, but I must start somewhere!
While I know this is a journey started just for myself, I hope you will find the information useful in your own life. Here is what I want J2H to be today: it will be a source of information regarding techniques for happiness with suggested small improvement anyone can add into their days. I will share with you my experiences and give you a platform for you to share your own. If this is something you think could be of value to you, then subscribe to this blog (at the bottom of any page) and let’s grow together!