"How to improve you happiness by transferring happiness form one part of your life to another."October 16, 2009 by Mike Strawbridge
Happiness Cubicle Exercise
Most people tend to divide their existence in to compartments. There is a container for job related thoughts, a container for home and family, a place for personal growth, a place for relationships, a place for family and a place where you store your hopes and dreams.
While I prefer to teach people to live congruently and let their existence flow evenly and fully throughout life, let’s take a moment to work with this natural tendency to compartmentalize life. Let’s turn this trait in to a benefit that helps us improve our happiness.
Imagine your life divided up into little cubicles. Make a list of a few bigger ones and then list a few smaller ones. For example list you job, you family, your social circle as big cubes. In the smaller cubes list you weight, your spouses sleep habits, you dog, your grocery shopping etc. Make a list of some of the details that make up your life.
Now, look over your list and see which of these items make you feel happy and which ones make you feel sad. There may be many that you simply feel neutral about. For the happy ones, put a smiley face J by them. For the sad one put a frown L you can also mark the neutral ones K
Now take a new paper and draw some squares to represent the cubicles in your life. Write some of the item from your list that you are happy about in these squares. Try to find at least three to five.
Take a moment to imagine being in one cubicle for a moment. Smile as you think about being there. Now imagine walking to the next happy cubicle and staying there a moment. Work your way through each of your happy cubicles without going anywhere else.
Now take an item form your neutral or sad list that you want to feel better about. Insert it between two of your happy cubicles. Now take a moment to experience being in the happy cubicle for a moment. Once you get into the state of happiness, walk into the next cubicle in that same state.
Maintain that state of happiness and now observe what you see in the sad cubicle. Does anything look different now? What would you like to change?
If you start to feel sad in this cubicle just step to the next happy cubicle. Enjoy the feeling of happiness that this cubicle brings.
You can do this exercise anytime you wish. You don’t have to write it out on paper just imagine the cubicles in your mind.
Just use the happy feeling in one area of your life to help you deal with the problems in another area. You will be in a much better state of facing a problem if you start in a happy state.
For example, imagine that your child has been having behavior problems at school and you are one your way to pick him up. Instead of spending the drive worrying about what might have gone wrong today, use that time to think about a cubicle of happiness. Think of something that makes you feel happy like a sunset on the beach or a scenic mountain view or the feeling of success when you successfully completed a project.
Walk up to the school with those happy thoughts fresh in your mind and allow more happy thoughts to flow in to the next cubicle with you. Observe the school halls in a state of happy expectancy. Expect a good report from the teacher today. Even if you get a bad report, you will be in a much better state to listen and understand the problem than if you arrived in a state of worry, dread or anger.
Your intuition may speak to you in that moment to provide you with an answer you might have otherwise missed. Starting out in a happy state will improve your openness to new ideas and solutions.
Use the happiness you find in any compartment in your life to help boost your feeling of enjoyment in the others. Eventually you will be able to flow effortlessly form one cubicle to another in a state of complete bliss and then you will find that the cubicle dividers have magically disappeared.
Mike Strawbridge October 16, 2009
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