Copyright © 2016 Sonia Sylart
“Life will be great and I’ll be so happy when I get a decent new car”
But somehow, even if the things we want to happen do materialise, we consciously or unconsciously create a different reason to postpone being happy!
“Okay I’ve got my new car now and that's fine but I’ll be really happy
when I ... pass my exams / get that new job / move house / get married / get divorced / have a family / retire / get another new car!"
The merry-go-round never stops and happiness within and "without" is continually on the back burner as we carry on moving the goalposts with the result that we seldom if ever get to feel at peace with ourselves and happy for long.
That said being ambitious and striving to better ourselves in a variety of ways is very commendable but when for each milestone the happiness doesn’t materialise or is very short lived, it’s time to take stock and do something about it.
Read on for insight and perceptions that can help you towards a more positive and happy mindset.
... you learned to take on full responsibility for your own happiness within and could ride life’s ups AND inevitable downs with an innate ease, rather than becoming overwhelmed with gloom or resigned to discontentment?
There simply is no guarantee that a person will automatically be happy if
they get “x y and z” or when “such and such” happens, or when they win the lottery, or whatever. Thus there’s absolutely no point in waiting for life
to be perfect, or even just so, before “allowing” yourself to be happy. As they say, you should be enjoying the journey on the way to the destination
and for the most part happiness is within you.
Get this - without knowing it or meaning to, many of us consistently cultivate negative thoughts which flourish to assure our continued discontentment. Maybe you are familiar with the following examples of unhelpful thoughts/negative affirmations
Yes, of course we all think like this from time to time but beware - if we think like this all or most of the time, such thoughts become self fulfilling prophecies, setting us up for a life including much more misery than needs be.
But here’s the good news – it is actually possible to increase our own propensity for happiness by reprogramming our own minds and changing our own attitudes. What’s more, through altering our self talk (i.e. the way we talk to ourselves in our heads day in day out) and by using positive affirmations, it’s not nearly as difficult as you may anticipate. But first let’s consider ...
It’s going to be somewhat different for everyone but to generalise happiness is a state of peace of mind, contentment, ease, optimism and/or sheer joy. It becomes more attainable when a person can readily appreciate the positives in life and can embrace the benefits of using positive affirmations, as opposed to overly focusing on imperfections and negatives, be they real or imagined.
Too many people are unaware that, despite their imperfections or numerous challenges, they still have the capacity to actually decide to be happier or happy. Think about it - just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it’s true that peace of mind and happiness is in the mind of the beholder.
All too often we let relatively trivial things get us down but generally we need to realise that no-one can make us unhappy and keep us unhappy if we won’t let them. What’s more, you essentially owe it to yourself to take responsibility for your own happiness within.
Right now you may be musing that the reason for your unhappiness is not trivial at all - and let us accept that you are right in this assertion. When things go wrong it can lead to a person becoming distressed, defeatist, deprived, oppressed, guilty, enraged, depressed, bewildered, resentful, unforgiving, revengeful ... the list is endless.
So, yes, when bad things happen, it's natural to feel down in a variety of ways, but such feelings can become overwhelming and harmful to your peace of mind and mental well being.
In the interests of limiting the harm ...
there comes a time when it's right to consider and ask yourself what
you have to gain from, for example,
Ask yourself if you have anything to lose by trying to adopt at least a slightly more positive approach.
Overthinking and overly feeling sorry for yourself will not make things better and could well make things worse.
With an altered, more affirmative mindset, there's little to loose and the possibility of much to gain!
It's right to acknowledge when things are not right, not just or not easy because, quite frankly, pretending otherwise is an insult.
But it's likewise important to recognise that it is your own mindset that determines how much and how well you recover from adversity and ultimately how happy you will actually allow yourself to be.
You CAN consciously choose how you view or react to undesirable external influences. You CAN choose to learn from the experience and you can also resolve to look for any positives in your situation, however small.
In hard times, again, strive to look for the lesson rather than only noticing and focusing on the negatives and in this way you can give yourself more peace of mind and pave the way to more happiness for the long term.
Bearing in mind a lifetime of significant negativity, it must be recognised that a person becomes very accustomed, and comfortable, with said negativity, unhelpful though it is.
It follows then that choosing to be happier does take concerted conscious effort and, according to natural disposition, some will have to make more effort than others. However, if you are prepared to give it a go, and sustain it, you'll be smiles happier and glad you did.
As expanded upon above, acknowledging to yourself that there are no guarantees of happiness when x, y or z happens (or if a, b or c never happens), and that it then follows there is no point of postponing happiness in anticipation of such, is a crucial factor to come to terms with if you want to be able to find happiness within yourself.
Happiness is within you and a strong belief in your own resilience to deal with undesired outcomes or set backs in life is yet is another important factor. Plus knowing you can actually choose to be happier is liberating to say the very least.
So, will you do yourself a kindness and CHOOSE HAPPINESS instead of ambling along in unrestrained negativity?
See Part 2 of
this Happiness article for essential guidance on Preparing for More Happiness, Tackling Persistent Negative Though Patterns and more.
OVER TO YOU - Have you been unconsciously (or indeed consciously) postponing happiness?
Please leave a comment below either way
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