I hope you found yesterday’s post regarding Affirmations, Attitude, and Achievement helpful. If you just joined this journey, be sure to take the time to go back and read from the beginning, The Alphabet of Happiness. Without delay, let’s get to it and discuss the letter “B”.
Believing, Breathing, Baking
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I shall have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
One of the words used in this quote that is especially powerful is “capable”. You can’t believe yourself to be six inches taller, to grow hair where you have none or to buy a brand new car when you don’t have the financial means. These are all good examples of what you aren’t capable of doing. I call this, “wishful thinking.”
However, there is so much you are capable of doing and changing. I’m not going to suggest that if you just think happy thoughts that you will be happy. It’s not that easy and I recognize that fact. But, if you truly believe in the ability, your ability, to be happy and to feel happiness in your life, you’re a whole lot closer to that reality than you were before.
Believing is recognizing that happiness is obtainable. Keep reading this post and future ones to find ways you can achieve happiness.
I’m quite certain that you will agree with me that breathing is essential to living. But, how you breathe can play a huge role in achieving happiness in your life. When you think about anxiety and panic attacks, what is one of the first things that comes to mind? Yes, rapid and shallow breathing.
When you’re engaged in this type of breathing, your mind and body immediately kick into a “fight or flight” response. Your heart rate quickens, your mind is racing, your muscles begin to tense and all of your senses become heightened. In fact, when you engage in rapid and shallow breathing, your mind can’t differentiate between an anxious moment or the possibility you are fighting off an attacker.
Ok, that may seem extreme. My point is that if you can control the way you breathe, then you are sending signals to your brain that you are in control and you are fine. When this happens, you are able to feel more relaxed. When you feel more relaxed, then you are more likely to feel better…happy even.
There are literally thousands of deep breathing videos available on the internet. I encourage you to find one that works for you and that you enjoy doing. Once you learn how to do it, then I encourage you to proceed on your own and at your own (breathing) pace. Here is an example to get you started.
“Say what?” you’re asking. Let’s take a look at something a little more light-hearted. This option may not interest everyone and that’s ok. Keep reading as I’ll address that subject a bit later. How many of you love a good home cooked meal? How about foods made from “scratch?” And we can’t forget about all of those yummy cakes, pies, biscuits, cookies and so much more.
If you already love to bake, then you know where I’m going with this subject. If, however, baking really hasn’t interested you in the past, you may want to reconsider.
I want to make a clear distinction between cooking and baking. To me, cooking is making dinner. It’s what you have to do on a daily basis to feed yourself and others. Baking, however, is more like a hobby. It’s an endeavor, a craft of sorts that you enjoy doing and which makes you happy. Have you ever heard the dwarfs in the movie, Snow White sing, “Whistle while you work?” They sing this song with exuberance and happiness. It’s an approach and attitude of happiness they bring to their activity of working.
Well, that’s the feeling you will enjoy while you’re baking by choice. Baking is one of those activities that results in what is known as “instant gratification.” While you are baking and especially when you are finished, you have the opportunity to look at your finished accomplishment and feel proud of what you have created. When you feel proud, you are also feeling happy.
For those who don’t like to bake, I encouraged you to keep reading. You can substitute any activity or hobby you enjoy for baking. I believe we are all good at something. Think about something you enjoy doing. Personally, I enjoy coloring in the adult coloring books. I experience an immense about of instant gratification when I have finished. I look at what I have colored and I smile. I revel in the glory of my accomplishment. You can do this too!
As we continue this journey together, I encourage you to keep reading. If you have yet to find your own how or why to happiness, I strongly believe you will. Please come back tomorrow as we explore the letter “C”.
©Julie Corbett 2017