Episode 32 | October 4, 2016

The 5 Keys to Happiness with Mark Dhamma

Mark Dhamma

A Personal Note from Orion

It seems that we go through life in the pursuit of happiness, but what does that happiness look like?  It is going to be different for every person, and you’ll be surprised to know that it can be easy to achieve.  Why  Because happiness starts by allowing ourselves  to simply be  happy, and appreciating the smallest things that make us feel good, that makes us smile.  It’s not always going to be about closing the biggest deal or a new pair of shoes – happiness can come from waking up in the morning and making your bed, and embracing that feeling of accomplishment, no matter how small.  Or savoring the smell of coffee in the morning, and really reflecting on how that smell makes you feel – warm, fuzzy, and ready to face the day. 

Mark Dhamma is a man that is out on a mission – to help others find their happiness through fitness and wellness coaching.  His own journey began when he was an over-weight child and decided one day to do something about it, and thus began his journey to a life full of joy and positivity.  Now, he shares that with others, including his five pillars for happiness:  PERMA (Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishments).  You definitely want to listen to this episode to get your positive vibes going…



In this Episode

  • [03:15] – Mark introduces himself and tells us how he got into health and fitness.
  • [05:07] – Mark explains how working with entrepreneurs who were very successful, but not happy began his interest in Psychology.
  • [06:45] – Mark defines happiness.
  • [07:51] – The acronym for the 5 key components of happiness is PERMA.
  • [07:53] – “P” is for positive emotion.
  • [09:39] – “E” is for engagement.
  • [13:52] – “R” is for relationship (particularly positive relationships).
  • [15:09] – Orion discusses relationships on a previous episode with Renee Piane. Check out that episode.
  • [15:30] – “M” is for meaning.
  • [19:06] – Mark discusses ways to find meaning in our lives.
  • [21:48] – “A” is for accomplishment.
  • [26:44] – Mark stresses the importance of celebrating the small wins in our lives and not just the huge accomplishments.
  • [28:30] – Mark tells us about a gratitude exercise, to help us cultivate a greater sense of accomplishment in our lives.
  • [32:09] – We take a look at the role that childhood trauma can have on a happy life.
  • [35:14] – Mark shares his ‘chair’ technique for healing relationships.
  • [39:46] – Stress reduction!
  • [44:10] – We discuss the Ayurvedic herb called Kapikacchu, also known as Mucuna Pruriens.
  • [48:34] – Mark talks about importance of a morning routine.

About Today’s Show

‏‏Hi Mark and welcome to the show.

‏‏Hi Orion, thank you so much for inviting me to the show.

‏‏I’m really excited to be talking to you, it’s going to be a good conversation, I can feel it.


‏‏Today we’re going to discuss the art of happiness and we’re going to discuss stress reduction. Before that, can you just start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

‏‏My name is Mark Dhamma and I grew up in Great Britain and now I live in Hollywood in Los Angeles. Growing up, I was overweight and I really didn’t know why I was overweight, I didn’t know why my friends in school weren’t overweight, because I used to play a lot of soccer, rugby, and then I was 13 years old, my. My grandfather made a comment to my mom that he thought I was too fat and that just at the time broke my heart. He wasn’t saying it to be mean, he was saying it because he was actually just concerned about me.

‏‏How happy were you?

‏‏You know what, I actually don’t know. To be honest, compared to a lot of the childhood ABC we have varying states now, I wasn’t big at all. It’s compared to the kids today, I wouldn’t be considered big at all. It was enough at the time to get me to really want to figure out and gain shape. I started learning everything I could about health and fitness, started with fitness magazines and then started going to textbooks around it. I ended up going to college to study sports science and physiology. By the time I went to college, I was in really great shape. I actually started working as a fitness model when I was 21. By the time I was 24, I was doing men’s fitness modeling in the UK and I started coaching executives around health and fitness.

‏‏That’s pretty amazing how one little sentence can just change the course of your life, one little remark from your dad.

‏‏It caused enough pain for me to go into action, that was it really. I was already being made fun of at school but once my grandfather mentioned it I was like okay, this has to end now. That got me into health and fitness. When I was in London, I was working with a lot of executives, coaching them around improving their energy levels, looking in great shape. Even though I was getting these people in great shape, a lot of them were still unhappy. These were executives, entrepreneurs making a lot of money in London and they were just unhappy. That’s what really got me interested in the psychological part. I started doing executive coaching, taking courses around coaching because that’s about communication and helping people change their behaviors. Four years ago, I moved out to the states to get a master’s degree in positive psychology which is the science of optimal psychological performance, the science of happiness, well being, science of confidence, science of motivation, the science of human flourishing. I really started focusing on the mindset side of things when I moved here to the state to I could offer entrepreneurs, executives both.

‏‏That’s amazing. There’s this concept of change your body, change your mind. Sometimes, people lose their weight and nothing changes because sometimes you have to change your mind to change your mind.

‏‏Exactly, that’s a good way of putting it.

‏‏Have you heard of Dr. [00:04:33] ?

‏‏Yes, I have.

‏‏He taught positive psychology in Harvard. It became the most popular course in Harvard in the first year.

‏‏That’s what I heard.

‏‏Yeah, people are looking for happiness. Sometimes, they look for happiness in all the wrong places. Can you share with us a little bit what is happiness?

‏‏That’s a great question. Positive psychology, at first they were still doing a lot of studies around happiness. What we found was that actually, people define happiness slightly different. What happiness might mean for me might be a little bit different from what happiness means to you, Orion. They also found that happiness was fleeting and some days people said they were happy and then the next day they said they weren’t feeling happy. In the morning, someone would be saying they feel happy and then in the afternoon they weren’t feeling happy. We found that happiness really just depended on feelings at the time, feelings at the present moment. We decided to look at a broader picture of happiness, what happiness really means. The research has shown up until now that there’s really five key pillars or five key components of what we would call happiness, or in the research we call it well being. You know the acronym, it’s PERMA. The P stands for positive emotions, it stands for feeling good. That’s what a lot of people think about happiness, feeling good. What the research shows is that actually feeling good, and this is actually what a lot of Buddhism and a lot of other Eastern thought says it, feelings are just fleeting, they come and go. However, we know that by feeling good regularly, people feel happier and higher levels of wellbeing. Positive emotions would be things like gratitude, saying thank you and feeling thankful. It would be joy, it would be excitement, it would be awe, it would be love. These really positive emotions that human beings can feel, that’s one of the key parts of overall happiness and wellbeing.

By feeling good regularly, people feel happier and higher levels of wellbeing. Click To Tweet

‏‏I used the P this morning for that positive emotions.

‏‏Oh, you did?

‏‏Yeah, I was on my rebounder and I was jumping up and down to awaken my lymphatic system. While I was doing it, I was thinking gratitude and appreciation and thought about moments from the past that I can be grateful for. I thought about moments I’m proud of, I thought about funny moments, sexy moments, and then brought in some future moments and just was in gratitude for only five minutes but those five minutes can totally change your state of being.

‏‏Exactly. Those five minutes can absolutely set you up for the whole day.

‏‏Amazing. E?

‏‏E stands for engagement. Some other words for engagement would be flow, getting in the zone. Engagement is when you’re fully immersed in an activity that you even lose consciousness of yourself. You may even look at that as a rebounder at some point if you’re just bouncing up and down and you’re so into it focusing on your bouncing and then you lose track of time, you self-talk, your head stops and you’re just totally involved. Other ways you can get engagement, some people get it through work, some people get it through writing, some people get it through artistic pursuit such as painting. People get it through sports, personally I tend to get a lot from cycling, from doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or martial arts.

‏‏You do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

‏‏Yeah, I love it.

‏‏I studied a little bit. I studied MMA but I wasn’t very good at ground fighting. I was rolling with this girl and every time I came home, I came home with a scratch or something.

‏‏That’s what happened with me, that tends to happen whether you’re good at it or bad at it. You tend to come up with a scratch. You can get it from anything that gets you totally in the present moment, even meditation for example will be a way for engagement. It tends to be things that people enjoy when they get engagement flow. It tends to be things that you’re pretty good at as well.

‏‏Right. You know what I get it from lately?


‏‏It’s the silliest thing, it’s coloring books. Coloring mandalas get me in that state.

‏‏Perfect, exactly. That’s a good one, I haven’t had that one before but I get it.

‏‏Stephan’s step-mom gave it to me as a present and I started doing that. When I went home to Israel to visit my family, I gave one to my mom and my mom’s all over it. She can sit for hours, it’s so good for her. I just wanted to mention that as a tool for anybody. Consider coloring like a little child, it’s fun.

‏‏There’s a lot of adult ones coming out now in the market, I’ve seen them, I’ve even seen them at Whole Foods and stuff.

‏‏There’s even a Star Trek one.

‏‏Oh really? Excellent.

‏‏Getting into activity that is super engaging and gets you in the flow state where you lose track of time.

‏‏Exactly, that’s a key component. That’s a component of wellbeing. To be honest, a lot of entrepreneurs forget this. Another way you can think of it is by playing, by doing some type of play. You tend to get into flow when you’re playing something. I’ve definitely had many clients, friends, and people I know in the past who when running their own business they almost think it’s insane to play. “I should be working, I shouldn’t be playing, I shouldn’t be taking any time out.” That’s a huge thing because play actually not only makes you happier overall, but being feeling happy and having higher levels of engagement actually makes you more creative.

Play actually not only makes you happier overall, but being feeling happy and having higher levels of engagement actually makes you more creative.

‏‏Right. I guess the Google Offices, they understand that. It’s full of toys and play, correct?



‏‏Another thing about play and engagement is by playing and being engaged, research has shown that by doing that, it can also help you focus better later on have longer levels of focus.


‏‏Yes. Play is extremely important. To be honest, I don’t get enough myself.

‏‏What is play for you?

‏‏Play for me would be going to the beach, kicking the ball around, playing a bit of soccer, even just comedy, doing some comedy stuff, some improv comedy. I haven’t been doing it recently but I do enjoy it.

‏‏Cool, that’s good.

‏‏It is, that’s great, I’ve got a lot of friends who do it. Obviously, I live here in Hollywood so there’s a lot of places you can just go and do improv. Improv is great for everyone, I’ll recommend that.

‏‏Let’s go back, P is for?

‏‏Positive emotions.

‏‏E is for engagement, and R is for?


‏‏Ooh, big one.

‏‏Exactly. More specifically, positive relationships. As you know, Orion, human beings, we’re social creatures, we’re social animals, and we get a lot of our happiness from being with other people, from being with friends, from being with family, from sharing our experiences, from laughing together, having fun together, and also knowing that we have a social support network. Usually, women are better at this than men as you know, and supporting each other and being authentic. Positive relationships are huge, huge, huge in your happiness and wellbeing. Most people realize that, however the flip side is negative relationships. Maybe you’ve spoken about this before in your podcast, Orion, and being in relationships that actually drain you of energy.

‏‏Yeah, I just had an episode with Renee Piane and we were talking about relationships and how this is one of the most important decisions that you can make in your life is the relationship that you have. Whether it’s an intimate relationship, in the office, or with your friends.

‏‏Exactly. That’s one of the five pillars of happiness and wellbeing, relationships. The fourth one is M, can you guess what that’s for?

‏‏No? Manifesting, magnificent, mastery?

‏‏Close, M stands for meaning.

‏‏Oh, yeah. I knew it, my soul knew it.

‏‏M stands for meaning in life, meaning or some people call it purpose. That is living for something greater than yourself. Some people have religious beliefs like God, the universe, or anything like that. Some people it’s for the family, or the children. For other people, it’s for charity or project they really believe in, or a movement they really believe in. It can be anything. Most of the research was done on having a belief in a higher power. What research shows it that people who have meaning who feel that they have meaning to their life tend to be happier, tend to live longer, their immune systems tend to work better, they tend to recover from illness faster, they tend to rebound from challenging times in their life, for example the loss of a loved one or if they lose a job or if just a challenge happens in their life, they tend to rebound quicker and get back to normal and become stronger faster than people who feel like they have no meaning in their life.

‏‏Right. There is this book, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl and Victor Frankl was in the concentration camps in Auschwitz. He was a psychiatrist. While he was there, he was looking at the people that had a positive vision and had faith in what’s going to happen in their future. The people that gave up perished and the people that had the strong vision and the idea of having a bright future regardless were the people that survived. He himself imagined himself walking in Vienna and publishing his book about his experiences and that came to life. Until this day, people are studying that book.

‏‏It’s interesting you bring that up because that book was actually the first book that we were given to study in the master’s degree of positive psychology. Before we got into any of the research or anything like that, it was like this is the first book to read.

‏‏What did you take out of it?

‏‏Just the people who had no meaning and thought all were lost, they just died off very quickly and got sick very quickly. The people who had a vision tended to be healthier and unfortunately not all of them lived because of the Nazi reign but some of them did and they were the ones who stayed positive and decided that they were going to live because they had something to share and something to live for.

‏‏What are some ways that you can find meaning? The first one that you mentioned was by faith, does that mean a higher power?


‏‏Then, we talked about that book and that’s all about visualizing a brighter future and living your life from your future rather than living your life from your past. You don’t want to live your life looking at the rear view mirror, you want to look forward instead of backwards. Learn the lessons, move on, think of the future, look at the future. What are other things things that we can do to find more meaning in our lives?

‏‏That’s a great question. I think the way to find more meaning is actually to stop and think about it for a moment.

The way to find more meaning is actually to stop and think about it for a moment. Click To Tweet

‏‏Oh, wow.

‏‏Most people don’t think, they just get on with their lives and never really stop to think what is meaningful about my life, what’s important to me? What am I living for? What do I hope to achieve?For some people, it could be a new radical business that disrupts how we use energy for example, it’s like my gift to the world is I’m going to show them how to use less energy or how to use green energy. Or it could be some type of environmental mission. Or it doesn’t have to be anything big and grand like that, it could be to be a great mother, it could be to be a great wife or partner. It could be to really love my family. Meaning could be to smile at people, smile at everyone I meet and to feel love for everyone I meet, to spread positive energy and love to people. It could be anything, it’s really up to the individual to choose what it is for them, what feels right for them. For Viktor Frankl, like you said, his meaning was being able to publish his book and share what he’s found out about his effective psychotherapy methods.

‏‏For me, what I found is that when I get out of myself and into service, when I get out of thinking about what’s wrong in my life or my struggles and going to service and helping other people or putting my attention on somebody else. If I feel lonely, I’ll text somebody and say, “I love you, I miss you.” I change it. When I do that, I get out of my own self talk and I’m helping somebody else and that’s the meaning that I get. I get a hit of serotonin by doing that. Even in public speaking, that method is true. When you’re on stage, if you’re thinking about yourself and the meaning that you give to that talk is all about yourself, the talk will suck because you will talk and then you’ll hear yourself talk. If you take the meaning out of yourself and into that person that is listening and you want to service them and you want to make their life better and it’s all about them, then it will change everything. You’ll experience a greater energy and they will get what they need. By default, you will get what you need which is that meaning of feeling a little better or a little more significant because you did something really good for somebody else.

‏‏Right, that’s such a great advice, thank you for that.


‏‏I’ll use that.

‏‏What does A stand for?

‏‏A stands for accomplishments.


‏‏Accomplishments. Human beings, we love to achieve goals, we love to set goals and achieve them. It’s very interesting when you think about entrepreneurs because in my experience, I found that entrepreneurs, although they achieve a lot, they’ll achieve a lot, sometimes it’s not good enough for them. They’ll say, “I should be further along by now. That’s good, that’s done, what about the next thing? I need to achieve this next goal.” They’re always chasing, chasing, chasing something new. In the research, we call that the hedonic treadmill. Once you got one thing, the human beings like to go on to the next whereas accomplishments mean that once you do accomplish something, you give yourself a bit of a time out and enjoy it, give yourself a pat on the back and look back, look at the hard work that you’ve done, and really take in the feelings of pride and joy for accomplishing that goal. Take the time out to savor it and enjoy. Accomplishment, very important for happiness. It’s not objective, it’s not you sold your business for $100 million or whatever so you should feel accomplished. It’s subjective, it’s how the individual feels. Some people feel accomplished when they get out of bed in the morning and they make the bed, they’ll allow themselves to feel accomplished and happy which is great because that’s going to give them more feelings of joy, more positive emotions, more happiness and wellbeing just from getting up and making the bed in the morning. Where someone else, you have to do the business deal of the century to feel even the slightest amount of accomplishment and then they’re on to the next. This is a very important message, I believe, for entrepreneurs or for the women who are listening to this, men or women listening to this, who recognize in themselves that perhaps they don’t give themselves enough credit when they achieve goals.

‏‏I love what you said about allowing, allow yourself to play, allow yourself to feel accomplished. We don’t do that sometimes, we put bars, we put ourself inside our own prison. It’s like we want to be good girls and boys. To do that, we have to behave and we can’t allow ourselvesf to feel what we really want to feel. If you want to feel happy, sometimes it’s only about allowing yourself to feel happy. If you want to feel accomplished, sometimes it’s about looking back and cherishing and celebrating the little moments. You allow yourself to feel accomplished.

‏‏Yeah, exactly. I’m totally with you. Same with the positive emotions like you’ve seen, allow yourself to feel good, allow yourself to feel happy, allow yourself to feel gratitude. I absolutely, 100%, agree with you. I don’t know if it needs conditioning but I spent a lot of my life holding back from allowing myself to feel good as if it was something wrong with it.

‏‏You went on fitness stages and you were published in magazines and you have the perfect body, that wasn’t good enough, right?

‏‏It wasn’t good enough at the time, yeah.

‏‏Wow. I had that, I noticed that I did that the other day. Actually, it was of yesterday morning I weighed myself. I’m getting married and I want to lose weight and I look really pretty in my wedding dress. I allowed myself to eat a lot in the last few months and allowed myself to gain a lot of weight, or maybe I was stressed, I don’t know what it was. I got to the highest weight I’ve ever been to in my life, it’s too much.

‏‏Congratulations, you must’ve put a lot of effort into that.

‏‏Yeah I did, a lot of junk food. In the last three weeks, I worked hard, I cleaned my diet, I even went to a conference. Oh my god, we had tables with desserts and sugar, all kinds of candy and sugar. I didn’t eat, I got up earlier, I trained. I was very disciplined. I went on the scale and woohoo, I lost five pounds, and I lost 1% of body fat.


‏‏Thank you, I didn’t even celebrate that. You know what I said to myself? I have so much to go, still so big. God, really, that’s not the way to do it. If I’m not affirming to my body that she did a good job, why would she keep helping me?

‏‏Exactly. It can reduce your motivation. Like you say, it’s about celebrating the small wins in life, celebrating the small wins because you can celebrate that 1%. Five pounds is a decent amount of weight, 1% body fat is fantastic, it’s telling you you’re on the right path.

‏‏Yay, I’m feeling more accomplished right now after having this conversation. I guess sometimes we have to have somebody to remind us to feel accomplished and feel better about ourselves.

‏‏It helps a lot.

‏‏Right. What do you do to find flow and joy?

‏‏For me, again, the positive emotions help find the joy. What I tend to do is in the morning I’ll think about what I can be grateful for, I’ll think about five things I can be grateful for in the morning. I actually got a little audio program that people can purchase online, it’s called Dominate Your Day. I believe it’s the perfect setup for an entrepreneur’s day. It talks you through a morning routine that signs back to get you in the real heights of happiness, flow, and creativity, and confidence. In that program, I think about everything that I can be grateful for in my life and I’ll say it out loud. And then in the evening before I go to sleep, I’ll be with my fiancé and we’ll go over the day and say everything we can be grateful for. Throughout the day, I’m just constantly thinking, “What can I be grateful for? What can I be happy about?” A good friend of mine just shared with me a fantastic way to keep positive emotions up. He just shared it this weekend actually, you’re going to benefit from this.


‏‏He said “say thank you as many times as you can in a day.”

‏‏Really? That’s awesome.

‏‏Just say thank you as many times as you can. By saying thank you, you’re expressing gratitude. It’s so simple. I’ve been saying more thank you to people. I just feel so much better, it’s true. My positive emotions are just going up because I’m expressing gratitude even more now simply by saying thank you.

Just say thank you as many times as you can. By saying thank you, you’re expressing gratitude. It’s so simple.

‏‏That sounds amazing. That reminds me of when I lived in Japan. When I was 21, I had a very small amount of money. I decided to go to Japan, gave a two week notice and just went there. I went there for three weeks and ended up staying for three and a half years. When I got there, all kinds of miracles happened because I was very open. At that time, there is this book, it’s called the Power Of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy. I read that and I followed it. I was like, “I’m going to manifest my life.” I truly believed in it and I did manifest a lot of beautiful things and miracles and a great relationship and a lot of fantastic experiences inand the land of the rising sun. What I used to do is I used to walk in Omotesando. It’s a beautiful area in Japan, it’s kind of like Fifth Avenue of Japan or I don’t remember what’s the equivalent here in LA, just beautiful. Tons of designer boutiques, high end fashion, it’s just a beautiful avenue. I used to walk there. The thing in Japan is that every few blocks, you have a little Shinto Temple. You can go in and you can throw a coin and ring the bell, clap one, two, three and say a little prayer. Everyday, I walked by the little Shinto Temple on my way home, every time I walked by it, I threw a little coin, clapped my hands, rang the bell and prayed and said thank you and was in gratitude. I think this is part of why my experience was so magical, because regardless of the struggles, I kept my mindset focused on the gratitude and on the good things in life, and on the thank you.


‏‏That’s amazing.

‏‏That’s a perfect example, thank you. Thanks for sharing that.

‏‏Yeah, thank you. I know that you’re using hypnosis as well, correct?

‏‏Yep. I use hypnosis, NLP, neuro-linguistic programming. I attempt to use these on my clients to get rid of any limiting beliefs, things that are holding them back. Maybe I’m not good enough, for some people it’s I don’t know what I’m doing in my business might be a limiting belief, it’s overwhelming, I can’t handle everything could be an example of a limiting belief. Sometimes, just yesterday one of my clients said he had a limiting belief that he didn’t think he could ever be the healthy entrepreneur, healthy and fit entrepreneur, he was always going to be the sluggish one. I help them get rid of those limiting beliefs and then install more empowering beliefs for them. What’s interesting is a lot of the work I do with my clients is I help them look, feel, and perform at their best. I help them get their energy levels up, help them get their confidence levels up, help them get focused, get clear on what they want, and then support them along the way to do that. A lot of the work I do is actually helping them heal childhood traumas.

‏‏Yeah, that’s a big one.

‏‏A lot of the work is helping them heal relationships with their parents, sometimes that’s in person, a lot of the time it’s just not in person. Meaning we don’t have to speak to the parents but it will help heal the relationship remotely within themselves. Getting over things that happened as a child, perhaps it was name calling, bullying, failing at something as a child and that’s holding them back in the present, really working on the subconscious mind so that you can be more aligned with what they consciously want moving forward. I do do a lot of work there. To be honest, that type of healing work, that type of healing, moving blocks that are holding people back, that really brings me a lot of joy and satisfaction in what I do. That’s where I light up when I can help people move past things that’s been holding them back for years. At the end of it, you get to see more of them, they start expressing themselves even more as a person and I love that.

‏‏I was in the self development arena for a long time. I studied from the best in the world, period. I found out that there’s a place and a time for any method. You do need to think positively and think toward the future and be in gratitude. Sometimes, it takes a little more than that, always. That can serve you for a while but eventually you will have to go back and deal with some of those past traumas or limiting beliefs that are in your subconscious mind. 20% of our thoughts are in the conscious mind and 80% of our thoughts are in the subconscious mind. If you have a thought in your subconscious mind that is in conflict with the thought that is in your conscious mind, it will be very hard to attract what you want because your point of attraction is going to be different. The gravity of what’s in your subconscious mind will attract more than what’s on the 20%, on the more conscious or surface level so you do have to go back and deal with and heal that inner wounded child and embrace him or her and allow them to know that you’re good. Time is not linear. We think it’s linear but there are many theories that prove that time is not linear, it’s like a building, it’s like buildings with floors. They’re stuck one in front of the others and let’s say we’re at floor 16, we can still have glimpses of what happened in the past. In some shape or form, it’s still happening to us right now and we need to go back and heal it. What type of NLP technique or hypnosis technique that you would use to heal that past pain or past trauma?

‏‏I use many different ones. One, which is one of my favorite techniques and I use a lot, I probably use this one more than anything else, is what I call the chair exercise.

‏‏That’s interesting.

‏‏Very simple. I use it a lot to deal with incomplete relationships. If someone’s got a relationship that’s incomplete for any way, perhaps there’s some pain there, there’s lack of communication, there’s something that happened and it never really got resolved between two people. I use this technique and it’s extremely effective. The way it works is you’ll set up three chairs. Two of the chairs will be facing each other about three feet apart. One chair will be facing both of the chairs in a T position, three chairs make a T. Two are facing and then one chair is looking at both of the chairs. The chairs that are facing each other, I would have the client in one and I’d ask the client to imagine the person they’ve got an issue with, could be a mom, dad, ex-girlfriend, boyfriend, whatever. Imagine they’re in the opposite chair facing them, looking at them. Get them to sit down in the chair, very relaxed, get them pretty much in the hypnotic state and ask them to open their eyes and speak to the person they’ve got their issue with, just say everything that they hold back, everything they didn’t tell them. Tell them how it’s affected them in their life today, what happened, and how it’s affected them. After the client’s got that all off their chest, I’ll ask them to walk over and sit in the chair of the person that they were imagining. They go and sit in that chair. Then, I’ll get them to close their eyes, get into a hypnotic state. I’ll ask them to open their eyes as the person they were imagining. This time, they step into the other person’s shoes and they’re actually going to respond to themselves from the other person’s perspective. For example, Orion, let’s say you’re doing this with your mother. At first you’d imagine you’re speaking to your mom and then you get up and then you’d imagine you was your mom speaking to Orion, responding. Once that’s done, I’d ask you to sit in the third chair and the third chair was looking at both of the chairs. The third chair represents a third person observer, someone who’s unrelated to the client, unrelated to the other person, unrelated to you Orion, unrelated to your mom. They were just watching the whole scenario. You’d sit in the third person observer’s chair and then you’d explain to me, or you can even say it out loud to yourself. I found this works best when you’ve got someone facilitating it who’s got experience, although you can do it on your own. I know people have had certain amount of success on their own.

‏‏I love it, I love how you put people in a frame and then you have them look at the frame from two different directions and then you just take them out of that frame from far away with no emotional attachment and just observing it. Then, the story becomes what it is, just a story, just information, more distant than the emotional trauma and the emotional pain. That’s brilliant.

‏‏Yeah, exactly. Actually, I learned that from an NLP master, he’s a friend of mine in London about six years ago now. One of the most powerful tools.

‏‏It’s so amazing, our minds are so amazing. What’s really amazing is that visualizing something or experiencing something can feel exactly the same. Our mind cannot distinguish that from their reality. We think we see reality but we all have different filters we see their reality from. That’s just fascinating. Stress reduction, what do you do to reduce stress?

‏‏Well, there’s a lot of things you can do to reduce stress. Making sure the body is healthy is a big thing. First of all, breathing, making sure people are breathing through the stomach rather than the chest. Most people are chest breathers and you can find out right now if you’re a chest breather or a stomach breather by taking a deep breath in.

‏‏I’m aware. I’m a chest breather but then I’m aware so I bring it to my tummy.

‏‏Right. So listeners, if you breathe in and your chest is what pops up first rather than your stomach coming out first, it means you’re a chest breather. If your stomach comes out first, it means you’re breathing from your stomach which is actually superior because when you breathe through your chest, it turns on your sympathetic nervous system, your fight and flight nervous system, while breathing into your stomach turns on your parasympathetic nervous system, your more relaxed nervous system. A lot of people are going through life just breathing out their chest causing themselves unnecessary stress. One of the first things I did with my clients is teach them how to breathe through the stomach. Overall, that just reduces a huge amount of stress for the rest of their lives simply by training themselves to breathe through the stomach. Next thing is water, most people don’t drink enough water. To figure out how much water to drink a day, the minimum amount, it would be find out your weight in pounds. I’m about 210 pounds right now. Cut it in half, for me that would be 105 pounds. Simply just turn that into ounces, 105 ounces. The minimum I must drink a day is 105 ounces.

‏‏Right. I’m a little more right brain so what I do is I fill out a huge jug of water and I drink it and I just measure how many jugs of water I drink, or I don’t, I just drink them and forget about it. The more you drink, I know this with my weight loss, the more water I drink the easier it is to lose weight.

‏‏Exactly. A lot of people, especially entrepreneurs, I know because that’s who I work with, are feeling tired throughout the day, locking back the coffees. A lot of time when they just replace those coffees with water and add more water, then they find that they don’t need coffee, they just have more energy overall and feel better, more awake.

‏‏What’s your take on caffeine? Good? Bad? Good in moderation.

‏‏I think it depends on how it reacts with the person. If someone’s telling me they’re having more than one coffee a day, then I’m raising my eyebrow. I’m like okay, something’s going on. For me, I have about one coffee a week. I like the taste, I like how I feel while I’m on it, but I just don’t really like the crash. I know some people say it’s the quality of coffee, I’ve had the best quality coffee and I still feel a bit of a crash. I prefer to be in a more relaxed state. I tend to use other things like I’ll have a hot cocoa drink in the morning.

‏‏That sounds delicious.

‏‏It is. It’s got a tiny amount of caffeine in, I got a little bit of a kick, it’s warm, it’s satisfying, it tastes good. Sometimes, I have this cocoa drink with some Chinese herbs in it.

‏‏What type of Chinese herbs?

‏‏I don’t know what type, I just know the name of the brand I use and I love it, it’s jingherbs.com.

‏‏I know that brand.

‏‏They’ve got something called Coco QiCocoa Key Latte. I like it, I just feel…

‏‏That sounds delicious.

‏‏It is, it’s delicious, it’s amazing, and I feel like I’m on something. I feel like I’ve taken something. It feels so relaxing.

‏‏Nature high.

‏‏Yeah, I feel so relaxed, so calm, your energized and focused.

‏‏Plants are really good for us. I use sometimes, and helps me sleep better, it’s also good for hormonal balance. Disclaimer, I’m not a doctor so please consult your doctor before taking any of my advice. I use ashwagandha powder and ayurvedic powder. It’s really good. There’s also another ayurvedic powder that I learned about from David Wolfe and it’s Mucuna which is an L-Dopa powder. It helps you increase the dopamine in your brain. I use it on and off, I don’t use it everyday. Kind of like when I want, I still have two new packs of powders in my kitchen that I didn’t open for the last month. I use a lot of the supplements, I don’t take them all at once. I circle them.

‏‏I love ashwagandha. I really love that, that definitely helps with stress reduction. I’ll have to try the Mucuna.

‏‏It’s got another name. It’s going to be in the show notes and I’m going to text you that.

‏‏Some other things for stress reduction. Big thing is sleep, sleep, sleep. I was talking to Stephan about this a couple of weeks ago, huge, sleep. The best times for your body to sleep are between [9:30] and [10:30]PM. A lot of people don’t want to hear that and I understand. That’s just how our bodies are wired, they work with the sun.

‏‏Thank you for telling him that because for two days I got him to sleep at [10:30].

‏‏For two days?

‏‏Yes. Actually, slowly but surely I’m trying to move him to sleep a little earlier. There’s another expert that he talked to and he speaks about people’s sleep cycles and body types. Some people are lions, they wake up early and they go to bed early. Some people are bears and they’re like the middle section. Some people are wolves where they sleep later and they’ll need to wake up later and that works better with their hormonal cycle. He believes that he’s a wolf and I’m a bear/lion, we have different cycles. I’m trying to get him to sleep more at [10:30]PM.

‏‏Yeah, I don’t know about that so I can’t comment. I just find that overall what I found on the research that I’ve studied, it shows that between [9:30] and [10:30]. What I would say is if he’s not sure, if he’s experimenting, it’s fine to experiment. If you find that you’re still tired or you’re feeling stressed, then definitely give the early sleep a go. My whole life, I’ve never found anyone who’s gone to sleep early and haven’t felt good after a good night sleep, an early night.

‏‏I agree with you 100%.

‏‏Sleep, sleep is one of the most important things. Food, of course eating high quality food, unprocessed food, and eating every three to four hours. That’s what people can miss, especially entrepreneurs who are busy. Eating every three to four hours. By eating every three to four hours, especially for women because their hormones tend to be more sensitive than guys, guys can do things like intermittent fasting and can be alright but women research shows that intermittent fasting can really mess up the hormones.

Guys can do things like intermittent fasting and can be alright but women research shows that intermittent fasting can really mess up the hormones. Click To Tweet

‏‏Wow, good to know.

‏‏They tend to be just more wired to eat regularly. Eating every three to four hours. Movement, making sure you’re doing some type of moment everyday. Standing desk, walking around, and then some really vigorous physical activity at least three times a week is important as well. The things we just went over there were really how to support the body, how to support your health. If you’re supporting your health, your stress levels are likely to rejoice massively. On top of that, one thing for every single one of my clients, it’s the first thing I usually go to. You mentioned it earlier, that is I’m creating a morning routine. That reduces stress immediately because a bad habit that many people have is waking up, rushing down a coffee or rushing down breakfast and then just diving straight into the text messages, straight into the emails, straight into work without giving themselves time to really wake up, enjoy the morning, and to invest in themselves whether that’s being on the rebounder or doing the gratitude exercise or going for a walk or going to the gym or reading a book or really taking time with breakfast and enjoying it. Taking that time out in creating the morning routine, personal development, gurus have been saying it forever and I have to agree, it really works.

‏‏I appreciate everything that you shared here today. I know that you have to go so I’m going to be respectful of your time. Thank you so, so much for all this knowledge, this great conversation. Before we go, where can people reach you?

‏‏Actually, I’ve got something pretty cool. If you’re interested in finding your own happiness score and seeing how you can increase your own PERMA, you can go to my website which iswww.markdhamma.com/happy. There, you can download your free happiness assessment. That will give you your happiness score and some tips on how to improve your happiness and well being even more.

‏‏Thank you, Mark.

‏‏Thank you, Orion.

‏‏Thank you listeners. Today, allow yourself to play, feel accomplished, and feel happy. Do things that support your body and your mind. Just have a great day. Have a stellar life, I’ll talk to you soon, bye!

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

✓ Happiness is often found in the small things of life. What are the things you are most grateful about today?

✓ Positive emotion is the first pillar of happiness. Make a list of things in your life that bring you feelings of happiness and joy, and engage in those things regularly.

✓ The second pillar is engagement. We have engagement when we are having a ‘flow’ moment or ‘getting in the zone.’ When was the last time you had that?

✓ We tend to have more engagement when we take the time to play. Spend time today doing something that makes you smile or laugh out loud.

✓ Relationships are the third pillar of happiness. Think about your relationships, the ones that are energy giving and the ones that drain you. How are relationships contributing or taking away from your sense of happiness?

✓ The fourth pillar of happiness is meaning or purpose in your life. Meditate today on what in your life gives you purpose.

✓ The fifth and last pillar of happiness is accomplishment. Allow yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment for everything you have done, both the small victories as well as the large victories.

✓ We have less stress when our bodies are running optimally. Take care of your body today by breathing deeply, sleeping well, moving regularly, drinking water, and eating quality food.

✓ Evaluate your morning routine. Is it helping your stress level decrease? Check out Mark’s resource for dominating your morning at https://www.markdhammacourses.com/store/4YBLLWai

✓ Take Mark’s free happiness assessment at www.markdhamma.com/happy. You will receive your personal Happiness Score as well as tips to improve your happiness and wellbeing.

Links and Resources Mentioned:

About Mark Dhamma

Mark Dhamma, MA is a High Performance Coach For Entrepreneurs.Through his popular Facebook, Instagram and YouTube Channel Mark shares advice on how to look, feel and perform at your best with over 38,000 entrepreneurs in over 20 countries.


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