From overstimulation to deceleration to happiness

In Sweden and Norway it kept on going like before: Fast and permeated by overstimulation. With a friend, who picked me up in Copenhagen, we raced in her campervan through the Swedish landscape that was characterized by birches, heather and lakes.

 

In Norway we stood in snow when it was 8C° (at Hardangervidda National Park), gazed at waterfalls in Eidfjord under which you could hear the Fossegrim, or maybe it was just my imagination 😉

 

We stayed at picnic areas overnight next to the road, on campgrounds at beautiful lakes and for one night even in the gorgeous National Park Norra Kvill (Sweden) where we had, in absolute silence, breakfast at a lake and were one with nature.

 

Roadtrip-feeling through and through.

 

Stockholm and Oslo disrupted our close experience with nature, two cities who couldn’t be, in my opinion, more different from each other.

 

Stockholm

Tastes like Dr. Pepper

Smells garbagy, like a fresh sea breeze, like pipe, like cinnamon

Looks touristy and monumental

Sounds hammering

Feels vibrant

 

Magnificent buildings but unfortunately accompanied by immense loud sounds cars and hammering always in the foreground. It’s a pity, because the city makes a quite sympathetic impression – if it wouldn’t be flooded by tourists.

 

 

There were also tourists in Oslo but they were not that noticeable. What was noticeable was the silence (which was not only because it was Sunday), a lot of e-cars and the calming effect of the water of the fjord.

 

Oslo

Smells like cold, clear air, flowery and herbally

Tastes like Chipotle

Feels autumnal, pleasant and like warm sunbeams

Sounds soft and sonorous

Looks green, loving, combative and sculpuristic

Oslo is a city that can’t get enough of sculptures. On every corner and especially at Vigelandpark, sculptures tell their story, laugh, love and fight. People sit outside, enjoy the (for Scandinavia quite warm summer day and listen to the talented street musicians.

 

 

Here, Wenckes and I separated, she went back to Germany, I went to the Swedish middle of nowhere.

 

Deceleration – the contrast couldn’t be bigger

I experience what I already have experiences a few times: After so many impressions, so much activity and awe, I can’t calm down. Can’t find clear thoughts, can’t concentrate. My body and my mind want to keep going like before, want to be engaged.

 

Deceleration – remove speed from everyday life and focus new, step by step and not complete everything at once. My tinnitus is loud again, is not satisfied with the silence that is around the Bed and Breakfast where I’m volunteering for 10 days.

After one week I can’t wait to go back to a city 🙂

 

Not only deceleration is a topic for me this week. The B&B is also a Spiritual Growth Centre and I realize that my time out is also becoming a spiritual journey. I learn, far away from work and obligations from the everyday life, to fully listen to my body and my guts again.

 

Realize that I’m in the flow, everything is exactly how it should be.

Know for sure that I am on the right path.

 

And the Happiness Project I participated in?

Maybe you remember: Carol asked me in June if I would like to participate in her Happiness Project and I said yes.

 

For 3 weeks I was supposed to do happiness activities, positive affirmations and a gratitude journal

 

…after 2 weeks I got so busy with packing up my life and dealing with a super annoying car dealer. I did the happiness activities half-hearted and only sometimes, and I totally forgot the affirmations and the gratitude journal.

 

Why would I still consider myself happier than 8 weeks ago?

Positive and stimulating environment

To me it was most important to get out of an environment that wasn’t good for me. I never felt comfortable in Kiel. Mourning people at the supermarket, at the bus stop and especially at work, they were just annoying.

People I surrounded myself in my private life, built a nice soap bubble around me, but it wasn’t enough. Our environment is always present, it’s always there and you can’t escape it, even if you try to lock yourself up in a soap bubble.

 

Live in your own biorhythm

I enjoy waking up without an alarm clock and look at that, I sleep 8 hours and not only six and a half, I feel rested and balanced. Eat when I’m hungry and not because I have to go to work or because I am on my lunch break. Rest when I feel like resting. Long story short:

I listen to my body and do what it needs.

 

Balance between physical activity and rest

Sports, a walk or physical work – I need this, otherwise my body just feels stiff. On the other hand I also need the opposite – rest, Yoga and meditation.

 

Having time – time for myself; time to be creative; and especially: no time pressure!

I missed that on our Roadtrip. To be with someone for 24 hours for one week was quite challenging for me. I need time for myself from time to time to sort and ‘tidy up’ my impressions and thoughts.

In this time I get inspired and creative ideas come to me, I need this to be happy. Being creative under time pressure doesn’t work for me.

 

Acceptance, trust and flow

Knowing that everything is exactly how it’s supposed to be, awakes trust in my paths and my skills to have made the right decision. And when the path is full with obstacles, well then this has a certain meaning, too, and is a lesson to me.

 

So, am I happier now?

At the beginning of the project, as well as after 10 days and 3 weeks (end of the project), we had to answer a questionnaire to get a happiness factor (you can do the questionnaire here: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/nov/03/take-the-oxford-happiness-questionnaire)

 

My first result was 4.69, after 10 days it went down a bit o 4.62 (during the week where I found out that my car can’t get repaired). After 3 weeks I forgot the questionnaire and now, 5 weeks after I have left Kiel, I got a result of

 

5.38!!

 

 

„Very happy. Being happy has benefits beyond simply feeling good. It’s correlated with advantages in health, with better marriages, and with attaining your goals. A base of happiness allows you to broaden and build toward greater success.”

I don’t need to add anything to this 😉

 

 

 

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