A fellow blogger pointed out to me yesterday a recent Daily Show episode, where John Stewart responded to President Obama’s statement that “this is BaconnaiseAmerica: we don’t do what’s easy, we do what’s necessary” by holding up a jar of Baconnaise.

Stewart sarcastically retorted that Americans LOVE doing what’s easy; so much that products like Baconnaise actually exist — it is a product for people who love bacon but don’t actually want to exert the effort of cooking it! Hahahaha, it is comedy.

Most of my peers have been experiencing the same as me recently and us hypnotherapists are going through a boom era. We are all so busy seeing clients… With the hypnotherapy (and other forms of therapy I guess) rapidly on the rise… With this influx of people seeking out therapies like hypnotherapy, CBT abnd NLP, they are also coming expecting that they are going to be provided with a big dollop of happiness with the same kind of ease as popping open a jar of Baconnaise!

I think we need to check our expectations… Let me explain:
I’m not saying that this instant bliss doesn’t exist. Sometimes halcyon chunks of absolute joy just get stumbled upon or given to us without any real effort — like when you tune in to a hilarious episode of your favourite comedy show on TV, or coming home to my beautiful wife after a hard weekend working!

That said, in the face of our supposed current global recession mindset, not to mention the every day stresses of modern lives that most people insist on living, I think we need to be far more realistic here… Here is my point today:

Sometimes happiness requires effort.

There, I’ve said it.

Yes indeed, sometimes I have to be willing to get some blisters on the way to blissfully crossing the marathon finish line!

With my marathon training and general immersion in the health field over the years, I’m delighted that I’m in good physical shape, with great health right now… That does not mean I can officially stop running along the sea front, or pumping irons in my home-gym for the rest of my life, does it?

Staying physically healthy requires being active and cultivating healthy eating habits just about every day of my life. I do it because I value my physical health. It’s not always easy, though I do have fun with it quite often. Plus, I like to give a good example to my clients and peers…

I view mental health and well-being (such as our topics of happiness and bliss…) exactly the same way. While some would argue that some people are more genetically predisposed to happiness than others, most of us, including myself, require regular trips to the mind gym, so to speak, to cultivate healthy mental habits!

I use self-hypnosis every day… I have a mentor and coach… I develop myself in a variety of ways on a daily basis…

Of course, personal development and personal well-being is different for everyone and we are all unique with unique responses.

All emotions have adaptive functions: for example, anger tells us when we think something is unfair and the expression of sadness tells others when we need help. Life would be boring (and virtually unliveable) without despair, rage, anxiety, jealousy and the like on occasion.

It is just that from time to time we get stuck in negative mindsets that weigh us down or no longer serve us well. How do we get out of them? And how do we foster resilience so we can be more proactive and perseverant in the face of daily stress? The idea isn’t to completely replace unpleasant emotions with positive ones; rather, to provide tools to tip the balance more effectively.

So why don;t more people commit to bettering themselves? Why don;t more people work at cultivating a healthy mindset to enhance bliss in our daily lives?

Happiness, bliss, contentment — these are all fleeting emotions we can either enhance through daily practice or ignore and hope they don’t eventually atrophy, like our once muscular, now flabby, triceps. 😉

I hope Bacconaise does not make it’s way to the UK… In the metaphorical sense of course 🙂