Joy in January: Meet the former Garda who's now a Happiness Coach
Between dark mornings, diets and a pay day that seems like it's never going to come, January can be bleak. So, to brighten up your new year we're looking at ways to find joy every day...
Pauline Rohdich was a Garda, a flight attendant and a business woman before she settled on her current career as a Happiness Coach. Pauline's grandfather had been one of the first members of the Gardaí and policing careers ran in the family, however Pauline says working for the Garda didn't allow her to support people as much as she wanted to.
"I soon realised my passion for helping people in the way I wanted to was restricted. I enjoyed the community policing side of the job but felt I couldn't make much of a difference long term. Training as a happiness coach seemed quite natural to me, as I would describe myself as a very happy person. And I was curious about the science that supports why some people are happier than others, even coming from the same parents."
Pauline is keen to dispel misconceptions people hold about happiness and how to experience it.
"Understanding that true happiness is an inside job and sharing that with my clients has helped them enormously to overcome the great big myth of happiness, where people feel it will be achieved when they have more money, success, credibility etc.
"The greatest mistake is that we feel happiness is outside of ourselves. The truth is we each have a happiness set-point, similar to a weight set-point. Fifty percent of our happiness set-point is determined by our DNA – we are born cheery or dreary. Ten percent is determined by our circumstances – this is where we focus most! The remaining 40 percent is determined by our habits and beliefs."
Part of the work Pauline does is helping people realise that none of this is set in stone, and that we each hold the key to our own happiness.
"We have the research to support the idea that change is possible no matter who you are... It's a willingness to change that matters. True happiness is an inner state, independent of our circumstances. It's a feeling of joy coming from self-belief and trust that everything is happening for us, rather than to us."
Pauline was already a practising Rapid Transformational Hypnotherapist, a Soul coach and a yoga and meditation teacher before she embarked on training as a happiness coach. Pauline says her clients were looking for something new to support their healing, which led her to happiness training.
"My Irish clients were fed up with the long drawn out therapies of repeating the same 'old' stories and getting nowhere. People want to end their suffering rapidly. There is no joy or happiness in constantly playing the past over and over again.
"The response has been amazing. Irish people have so much potential. We are realising that the past does not define who we are – it's the meaning we gave to things in the past that has held us back, kept us small and powerless. That is rubbish. We are all powerful creators, capable of so much more than we could ever imagine."
One of the advantages of the work, according to Pauline, is that in teaching it to others it reinforces her own levels of happiness. "It keeps me on my toes and has taught me the skills to bounce back on the days when I'm feeling 'meh', despondent, or lack-lustre."
For anyone out there feeling a bit "meh", she offers some steps to increase your happiness levels:
"The first tip is realising you are responsible for your own life and happiness. You have the power to choose in every moment. Each moment offers the opportunity of a fresh perspective. Living in the present moment, more mindfully allows you to assess the situation you're in and determine your solutions creatively."
Pauline suggests people pay attention "to what expands you energetically and brings you joy" such as walking in nature, reading an uplifting book, watching a sunset, listening to the birds, gazing at a flower, seeing your loved ones – and then to do more of those things.
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Finally... I walked the bridge today! I’ve only been visiting this part of the country for 23years ? . . Blew a few cobwebs away ? . . A brilliant way to walk into 2020‼️ . . So much appreciation ??? . . #newdecade #carrickarederopebridge #greatday #ocean #together #fun #walk #nature #antrimcoast #justpause
Choosing who to spend your time with is another important happiness step. "Set healthy boundaries especially within toxic relationships. It's been said we are the equivalent of the five people we surround ourselves with most – choose your company wisely."
Pauline also suggests daily spiritual practise. She says that practising gratitude releases seratonin, the hormone most associated with anti-depressants. "It is vital to nourish our very essence daily. Connection to God – or God of your own understanding, your higher self, the universe, source energy, the Creator etc – is so powerful."
For 2020, Pauline says she is "on a mission to spread happiness". She especially wants to work with more women this year, and her message to us is:
"Trust your intuition and go after your big, bold audacious dreams. Anything is possible."
You can find out more about Pauline and her work here.