Tag Archives: Focus

Happy for no reason!

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

 

laughingdogAh, the joys of feeling happy for no reason! Isn’t it the best? You wake up feeling full of hope, a smile on your face with enough energy to handle all problems, challenges, and tasks you encounter. Life is good and you feel good in your life.

Unfortunately you, like me, may not experience this special kind of day of grace as frequently as you would like. These happy for no reason days feel like random gifts given to us by the gods, angels or pure chance.

Perhaps it is because I’m a greedy person, but I want to see if I can change this dynamic. Instead of feeling happy for no reason, I want to start cultivating a different attitude. Can I practice being happy for lots of reasons! After all, why should Thanksgiving be celebrated only one day a year?

Of course there are many secular and religious holidays on the calendar set aside to bring our focus to gratitude, appreciation, meditation of love and goodness, increasing our kindness and generosity in all forms. In fact this year December 1, 2015 has been declared Giving Tuesday. We are encouraged to come together around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

My plan, starting NOW, is to collect all the reasons I can find to be happy. I know I will find lots of reasons to be happy if I will only change my focus and pay attention. My brain will automatically inform me of all the ways life is out of order:  from my awareness of my physical well being, to the well being of my bank account and my personal relationships. And then there is the long list of grievances and dissatisfactions I feel about my professional life.

This means that my daily job, my Mental Health & Happiness work, and my intention for well being must be focused on hunting for and discovering all of the delights, sweet moments, natural beauty and personal encounters that I find pleasing, satisfying, and reasons to be happy.

Top on my list is I’m accepting the task and the hunt to discover all of the reasons to be happy today. Next on my list is that some smart, generous and peace-seeking people have declared December 1st to be our International Day of Giving! And today there is the joy of seeing the sparkling white snow coating my world with the bright sunshine sparkling every crystal beneath the deepest, bluest Colorado sky!

Please join me in being greedy. Instead of waiting for the random miraculous days when you feel happy for no reason, start collecting all the joys you can find to cultivate your own personal happiness. Start today, continue tomorrow and carry on the search to discover how to be happy for lots of reasons.

I can choose to see clearly…

by Dr. Ken Larsen

focus1I can choose to see clearly.  I do this by how I focus my attention.  To focus is to see clearly.  When you look at these pictures you can see that the only thing that changes is how the picture is focused. 

All the pieces are there in each picture.  The pieces might represent our experience of life and our memories and perceptions.  They are all there.  It is important to recognize that we can choose which of those perceptions or memories we bring into the focus of our attention.

This shift in focus is a very important component of maintaining our mental health and happiness.

focus2We carry fearful images of what has happened or what we fear might happen.  Those images become part of our present perceived world which tells us how to interpret what is presently happening.  Here again it is a matter of focus.  We can focus on the fear driven images and produce more fear.  Or we can focus on what is actually going on and choose to respond to what is real rather than what is feared.

In my dental practice I would use this insight to help patients deal with their anticipated fears.  If I could get the patient to focus on what was really happening and report to me what they were experiencing, this shift in focus could override the anxiety producing anticipation of an experience that didn’t happen.

The first time I saw this shift in focus at work was when my young wife was in labor with our firstborn.   She gripped my hand and looked at me.  “What’s going to happen is going to happen.  The only choice I have is how I deal with it.”  That lovingly courageous insight deeply impressed me.

One bad habit that I continually am working to change is how I “pre-interpret” a present experience or an upcoming event.  It is easy for me to “awfulize” and anticipate a not so good outcome.  What I’ve learned to do is to shift my focus, realizing that there are no future facts, and “be here now” with curiosity and attention to my present experience of life, which in reality is all I have.  I can’t live in the past or the future.  All any of us have is the present fleeting moment.