The trick to remember, is that happiness starts in your mind. Do you know you can completely shift your level of happiness in the space of about 5 minutes by changing how you are thinking? Positive, loving, empowering and happy thoughts, create positive, loving, empowering and happy feelings in the body. Simple, right?
Very often the reason we are unhappy is not because crappy stuff is happening, but rather because we are thinking crappy thoughts. If we can work to pull out the weeds in our mind and clear out the negative thoughts, what we will be left with is happiness.
Happiness is our natural state until some yucky, low level thought comes along and blocks it. So, to experience more happiness, it makes sense that we identify what these happiness-stealing thoughts are, and then we work to turn them around.
Here are some of the common ways of thinking that I think block many of us from experiencing our natural state of happiness every day.
Mulling Over The Past
The past is over. Done. Finished. Complete. There is nothing you can do to change it now. So, unless you are sitting around reminiscing about the good old times, thinking about the past is a complete waste of your time and energy.
Do you ever replay past experiences over and over in your head? You may think 'if only' you had done it a different. You may analyse the past and search for what went wrong. Unless there are valuable lessons to be learned from these past experiences, you really just need to let them go.
Getting stuck in your head thinking about the past takes you out of this special, beautiful moment NOW. In life, you get what you think about. So, if you are thinking about past failures, past sucky relationships, past job stuff ups or past hurts, you are going to create them all over again in your future.
If you are one of those people whose life feels like a broken record and the same shit just seems to keep happening, it is probably because you are spending way too much thinking about this past stuff and in turn you are projecting it in to your future experiences.
Living in the past takes away from your powerful creative energy and drains you of your ability to create a fresh, blissful and fulfilling future.
Ignoring Your Inner Callings
One of the best ways to create a happy life, is to listen to what your heart calls you to do, and then do it. I have no doubt you know what those things are that make you come alive. But perhaps you do not prioritise them or you do not think they are important.
Often we ignore that little voice that whispers to us. We often dismiss it. Maybe it is because we do not believe that what it tells us we can do, is really possible. Maybe it is because what it tells us we can have, seems to good to be true. Or maybe we have just lost faith in that little voice of intuition that often guides us to exactly what we need at any given moment.
Have you ever had a gut instinct about something, and rather than listening to it, you ignored it. Then what do you know, shit hits the fan. And you look back in hindsight and realise that listening to your inner nudges could have potentially prevented the pit fall? It happens to me all the time.
It can be hard to trust your intuition sometimes, especially when the voice of your rational mind is much louder. But by taking time to connect with yourself and learn what your heart wants for you, you can connect to your true source of happiness and move past what it is that has been blocking you.
Affirming The Bad Stuff
Every word you speak and every thought you think, is an affirmation. Yes, you heard me. Affirmations are not just motivational phrases stuck on your mirror. An affirmation is a statement to the Universe. It is a message that you are communicating about yourself. Every word and thought tells the Universe who you are and what you want to create in your life.
So, if this is the case, doesn't it make perfect sense to only say and think thoughts about what you DO want to create more of rather than what you don't? It is kind of obvious, yet that does not stop many of us telling anyone who will listen about all the things that we do not like about our life.
We may not even realise we are doing it. But each time you complain about the traffic, look in the mirror and criticise your body, bitch about your co-worker, feel crap about the amount of money in your bank account, you are sending a message to the Universe. Anytime you talk or think about something you do not like or do not want, the Universe is listening and is getting ready to bring you more of it.
Talking and thinking about what you do not want, will block anything that you do want or that you would like to experience from coming to you.
The reason we play small in life is because we do not believe in our selves. Why don't we set huge, scary, out-of-comfort-zone goals? Sometimes instead it is easier to take what we can get. Or maybe it is just easier to play it safe and do what you know. Either way, shrinking away from your dreams because you are scared or because you do not believe you can have them, is a sure fire way to sabotage your own happiness.
I think this amazing quote from Marianne Williamson sums up this point quite nicely...
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others"
Fretting Other People's Opinions
I think that many of us these days are living fake lives. Living life for other people. Doing the things that we think will win love and affection, rather than doing what we really want to be doing.
Sometimes you just have to go against the grain. You have to shut out the world, forget about what your parents want you do to and surrender the need to impress all your friends. You have to listen to your own voice. Your own inner calling.
It is impossible to be truly happy if you are living out someone else's dream. It is impossible to truly follow your heart, if you are concerned about what other people will think of you.
So, how about taking a risk? Why not be different? Find the courage to step out in to the world and march to the beat of your own drum. You never know, you might just find what it is that you have been looking for all along.