Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens. Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens …
Do you remember the words to that famous song from the ‘Sound of Music’, that gloriously uplifting 60’s film with Julie Andrews sitting on a bed singing about all the things that made her happy? I know I do, and can still sing every word. Remember the Von Trapp children were afraid of a storm, and she was making them feel better. It worked for them and thinking of things that make me happy always lifts my mood, sometimes creating a random smile (inside and out) whether there’s anyone to smile at or not .
Thinking ‘Happy thoughts’ works for us all! So much so that teachers and spiritual coaches, psychologists and mindfulness practitioners are suggesting that people need to do this very thing.
There’s nothing new about finding something lovely to take our minds off a problem, a challenging person, or a physical pain. Many of us were brought up by being handed a sweetie as a way of dealing with a grazed knee. “Have a sweet to take your mind off it” – has doubtless been used down the centuries, in one way or another.
But now, in the last couple of decades, we have uncovered the science behind the practice of consciously linking our energies with our thoughts, and shifting gear. And thanks to a large and rigorous body of scholarly research we can explain how and why this method of changing our mood, shifting the balance, and raising our vibration actually works. (I’m talking here of recollecting something that makes you feel happy, not necessarily reaching out for a bag of sweets!)
We also know, from extensive research, that all over the world, those who are actively leading a spiritual or religious life reap the benefits of better physical and mental health. This is based on growing evidence that there are definite health benefits from regular meditation, mindfulness and generally being kind.
Developing your spiritual life has so many benefits:
For a start it calms the brain.
Soothes the nervous system by reducing tension, enabling relaxation.
Triggers a cocktail of wellbeing hormones in your endocrine system.
Calms the breathing and lowers the blood pressure and steadies the heart.
Lowers acidity in the gut, and harmonises the inner ‘eco-system’.
Supports the immune system and lowers the risk of disease.
Life becomes more meaningful.
Your confidence is boosted as you become more in control of your life
You become more centred and calmer, hopeful and positive.
You may develop a greater sense of community and build better relationships.
In my Spiritual Health group, here in Essex, I’ve been encouraging my participants to practice a technique based on NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). To do this they sit comfortably and pay attention to their breathing. Then as they become more relaxed I invite them to think of their most favourite place in the world. Then I invite them to bring to mind their favourite foods, their favourite music and a favourite person – someone who always makes them feel good. Next I ask them to allow these happy thoughts to filter down through their body, and imagine a mist of their favourite colour settling around them. Now squeezing the first finger and thumb together give this sensation a name. Then release and let go, and come back into the room. We then practice, squeezing, naming, and bringing to mind the sensation again, to see how quickly it works.
By practicing this a couple of times a day (it only takes a moment) our ability to change any situation, or clear negative self-talk, is strengthened. Particularly once we become aware of our triggers.
Thinking of my happy place, my favourite things in life, and all my favourite people are part of my day-dreaming. Yes, and sometimes I call this my meditation practice too. It works for me, and its working for my group.
I feel sure it will work for you too!
So go on, if it isn’t something you are used to why not give it a try?
Just simply remember your ‘Favourite things’ and then you won’t feel … so bad!
Have a wonderful week ahead.
Lots of love, with angel blessings in abundance,
What a lovely message, Chrissie and such a simple and uplifting practice. The Sound of Music is one of my all time favourite films- as it is for many people- and I realised recently that it is the wonderful Julie Andrews of whom you remind me! In fact, I have a bit of a ‘go to’ video on YouTube celebrating Julie and all her leading men. It’s set to a slow instrumental (I think) version of Every Time We Touch by Escada and is just beautiful; definitely worth a watch! Maybe that’s wandering a little from the spiritual path- or maybe not? I really enjoyed reading this, especially as I had just returned from a walk in the drizzle admiring the raindrops on roses in front gardens! Alas, no kittens- but you can’t have everything!
Thank you Angela. I’ll definitely take a look at that. xxx