15 Apr A Happier You
You might have heard the idea about people having a ‘baseline’. A state of emotional being that humans continually return to in their lives regardless of the circumstances around them. Moments of joy and happiness feel like they lift us up from this baseline and then down and under the baseline during moments of sadness, grief and everyday challenges.
This means that no matter how your life changes; if you win the lottery or meet the partner of your dreams, you will eventually fall back to your baseline. After two years of a new relationship, it has been researched that you will return to the same level of happiness you were at just before you met.
This suggests that we are doomed to remain in our constant state of existence with no chance of real improvement. All the ‘be happy, be grateful, life is a gift’ memes and messages that we see everywhere are futile in helping us with long term improvement of our daily mood and ability to deal with and enjoy life in general.
While some people appear to have higher baselines than others, they will still return to that state of being. If you’ve ever tried to have a bigger, bolder, happier life, you will know what a struggle this is to maintain when you’re only relying on the circumstances of your life to get better and keep you above that baseline.
Most of us will spend our life trying to stay above the baseline. You will spend a lot of time and money to get things that you think will bring you happiness: clothes, shoes, holidays, a romantic partner, multiple partners, new flings, good food, bad food, more botox, less body fat, the perfect bikini. A brand new car. A big house. The right job. A cat, a dog. A million dollars.
But where does our baseline come from anyway? It comes from our conditioning. It comes from what we absorbed about the world as we grew up. It comes from our experiences and what we unconsciously learnt to make things mean about situations that happen in our lives.
It all comes from our thoughts.
What if you could lift your baseline. Wouldn’t that be a better solution? Your credit card and self-image offer a resounding YES here.
When you change the way you look at life and what you make things mean (think about your reaction to someone’s comment in a meeting or gathering you were at recently and how you huffed about it for days afterwards), when you change the way you interpret situations, you will change your baseline. And I’m not talking about forcing a fake happy smile on crappy situations.
You can completely transform your life and lift your baseline when you change the way you think.
Self-awareness of the conversations that happen on autopilot in your head is the first step.
Life coaching speeds this whole process up and brings awareness to a way of being that you didn’t even realise was there but that is keeping you at your baseline.
Next time you notice yourself seeking another hit of happiness, ask yourself why and take a look at the conversation going on in your head.