Why this blog?

Because HAPPINESS is misused. My theory is that Happiness is NOT the POINT of Life; rather, it is a POINTER IN LIFE. And when it comes to making changes, that's what I specialise in at abetterlife-uk.com and http://hertscollegeofhypnosisandnlp.co.uk

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

What in the World is Happiness Day?

Speaking at a special meeting of the UN General Assembly on "Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm" (July 2012), Sec Gen Ban Ki-moon stated that the world “needs a new economic paradigm that recognizes the parity between the three pillars of sustainable development. Social, economic and environmental well-being are indivisible. Together they define gross global happiness.” 
The meeting took place in in Bhutan, which placed Gross National Happiness above Gross National Product since the early 1970s. 
The result was UN resolution 66/281 which proclaimed 20 March the International Day of Happiness, to mark the relevance of happiness and well-being as goals and aspirations for all people and calling for these to be incorporated into public policy objectives. 
The United Nations invites Member States,  international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day of Happiness in an appropriate manner, including through education and public awareness-raising activities. 
What can you do to help make life a little more human, at work, with customers, with the public and, yes, even those cold-caller salespeople? Happiness doesn't just "happen" to you; it starts with a decision by you, to make it important in your life and for the people around you. Your children are watching you.  

Friday, March 14, 2014

Staying Calm - stressful job survivors

How do people with very stressful jobs stay calm and keep happy? Here are some real-life examples, from an original set of interviews by Anita Chardhuri recently published in a Guardian newspaper article.

Football Manager
Chris Wilder, manager is struggling Northampton Town FC, describes the pressure and responsibility : the chairman and directors, as well as the supporters, players performance, personal problems, fitness and injuries. So many things are outside of your control, and you need to be clear on that.  His aim is to stay calm so that he can make good decisions, and his main strategy is to “be careful about who I listen to and what I read,” especially local papers, facebook, twitter, forums etc.

The risk is, as he found “In the past, I have taken things personally … You have to stay focused and believe in what you're doing,” without being too shut off. He says he learnt to “discuss only really massive things with my family and try to leave everything else at the front door.”
Jan Shadick is head teacher at Lambeth Academy, an inner London comprehensive is strongly motivated by her own experiences of how “a school can make a huge difference to the lives of young people. I
feel a personal responsibility … some of our students have traditionally not achieved well or have faced challenges in their lives, so we need to make sure they're as supported as possible.”
Ofsted had ranked her school as "requiring improvement" when she took over. “Nothing can prepare you for being responsible for it all.” They had systems for dealing with antisocial behaviour,  but on arriving “I introduced a policy for both adults and children of always remaining calm and non-confrontational. The minute you shout, people don't listen to you.”  Another key move she made was to always be visible  so that anyone can bring a niggle to my attention immediately; “It's when things fester that they create most stress. So I'm at the school gate at the start and end of every day.”
She is also very organized, and makes sure is prepared for the next day. Like football manager Chris learned, she sticks to a rule that “I do my work at work ..I won't take it home.”  “I try to make sure I have at least five minutes a day to pause for reflection. And I run.” She finds that her problems seem to get solved when she is running. You might say it’s another form of meditation.
ACAS ConciliatorPater Harword works at ACAS – the arbitration and conciliation service, and deals with big national disputes, like the tube strikes and  the fuel tanker driver disputes.
He says that “People training to be a conciliator often say they want to learn how to avoid conflict. But you're not actually avoiding conflict – occasionally you're creating it and then managing it.” The stress arises from the external pressure; “The key to remaining calm is to remember that if there's anger in the room, it's not about me. It's not personal. Stress is created when [you feel you] aren't in control.” He also finds calm by gardening. “It's like meditation for me.”
DiverSam Archer installs underwater gas and oil wells. “The whole job involves stress, from getting in a helicopter to fly out to a ship 300km north of Shetland, to getting on the dive ship itself. There's the pre-saturation medical, and then I go into a 2.5m x 7m chamber for a month.”  Basically it’s a diving bell, shared with 11 other divers, that's lowered to near the sea bed. “Then two of you get out of a little hole in the bell and you're "locked out", as we call it, for six hours in the pitch black and off to do your work with all sorts of marine life.”.
He explains that arguments are out, and that you have to be tolerant because of the close space that you share.  “You also need to accept the fact that if it goes wrong, you're probably not going to get out alive.” And fatal accidents do occur.
His strategy is to create his own space, and watching DVD programme box like Game Of Thrones and Breaking Bad, and reading. “Being knackered also helps restore calm.”
When not working, “I make a big effort to enjoy every day” and enjoys swimming and surfing to unwind. 
A&E consultant
Dr Simon Eccles is a consultant in the Accident and Emergency departments at Guy's and St Thomas' hospitals, London. The two mains stresses are where  someone seriously unwell but not responding to treatment, and other is simply peak busy periods. “On weekends, we're seeing twice as many patients and it can be awful, really tense. The worst is when someone dies under difficult circumstances. 
He gives the example of a car accident; “trying to explain to the remaining relatives that the child had died and that the mother was critically unwell.There's a moment as you walk in the room when everybody looks up and all you can see is hope… [but] your job, sadly, is to explain to them that it isn't.” It never gets any easier. “You go home and you hug your family that bit harder.” 
His best antidote “is to have people around you with whom you can share the stresses of the day.” He also made a big decisions to help make his life calmer, by moving closer to work. “My commute is a 12-minute walk from home” which reduces his long hours and gives him more time with his young family.
“The stress in A&E is about me not having control,” which he makes up for by immersing himself in a hobby over which he has total control - restoring classic cars. “The other thing that helps restore calm is going to the pub after a shift and chatting and laughing about some of the daft things that have happened during the day. They probably seem weird to people on the outside, but it helps to reorganise the brain.”