“Happiness is a state of mind in which our thinking is pleasant a good share of the time.” Dr. John A. Schindler.
Most people think they need some future event to arrive before they can be happy. It can be a new job, a partner, marriage, giving birth, a vacation, graduation, moving to a new home or losing excess weight.
What they fail to understand is that happiness is a mental attitude, and as such, it cannot be dependent on the outcome of a situation or the resolution of a problem.
Happiness is a state of mind which is produced, not by objects or positive outcomes, but by ideas, thoughts and attitudes. If you build your happiness around the resolution to a problem, what happens when the next problem appears (as problems tend to do)?
By not realizing you have the power to choose happiness, you create your own suffering. The more you are able to accept what is and embrace it as a part of you (which is neither good nor bad, but simply what is), the more you can be free from pain and suffering.
Don't just say “I'm unhappy”; say “There is unhappiness in me”, and then investigate its root cause.
“Why is there unhappiness in me?” Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking and separate them from the situation. Thoughts about the situation are only cold facts; they are not part of your being. They are thought patterns you’ve adopted unconsciously.
See the link between your thoughts and your emotions. Be the conscious observer between the two. Realize that when you associate your unhappiness with your situation, you are creating suffering for yourself.
The unhappiness that is tied to your situation can contribute to disease that is very real. After all, the very word disease comes from dis - ease. Isn’t this what you’re feeling inside of this type of unhappiness and dissatisfaction: dis-ease?
Our mind absorbs and becomes a part of the daily experiences upon which it’s fed. If you keep waiting for happiness to “happen” to you, you may end up waiting a long time, if not a lifetime.
Happiness is not something that happens to you. It is something you have to choose for yourself.
No one can decide on your thoughts but you.
“Most people are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.” Abraham Lincoln.
By developing a habit of generating positive thoughts, you set yourself free from being dominated by external conditions - conditions that you have no control of; like being stuck in traffic on your way to an important meeting, missing the bus to work, or rain on your wedding day. When you get upset by uncontrolled circumstances, you are letting the situation control you.
In unfortunate circumstances try not to add more negativity to the situation. Stay detached and see it for what it is. [For example] If it is a fact that you are overweight, think about how you can improve the situation you now find yourself in, rather than fighting the situation and increasing your unhappiness and pain.
Don’t add negative opinions to the facts.
Avoid self-pity, resentment, anger and frustration by making a conscious decision to presence positive thoughts a larger portion of the time.
Separate facts from opinions and judgments.
It is a fact that you are overweight; it is only your opinion that it will be hard to lose the weight. This might be an opinion based on past experiences but remember what was is in the past. You cannot change the past, but you can choose not to let it determine your future as well.
Do not waste your life sitting around in misery, thinking there is nothing more you can do. There is always something to be done and especially when you can identify where others have succeeded before.
Studies have found there are two main personality types: a “Success Type” personality and a “Failure Type” personality.
While the first finds it easy to focus on the positive aspects of things, this does not come so naturally for the other.
If you find yourself focusing on the negative aspects of different scenarios first, do not worry. This does not mean you are less fortunate, nor does it mean that it will be harder for you to achieve your goals.
Thinking patterns can be worked on and developed just like you’d work out a muscle. By consciously repeating positive thoughts and evoking positive emotions connected to imagery of a desired outcome, you too can become a “Success Type” personality. And in this case, I can ensure you the grass is greener on the other side.
Positive and negative cannot occupy one’s mind at the same time, only one can dominate. Make sure you choose the one you want to dominate your psyche by making it a habit to think positively. Whenever a negative thought or judgment arises, immediately replace it with a positive thought and perspective.
Everything in the universe has a polar opposite. To every downside there is an upside. Focus on finding the upside to every situation rather than letting the downside drag you down with it. In time you will notice your negative thinking patterns decrease, and with them, so will your symptoms like anxiety, exhaustion, headaches, digestive distress, depression, shame, loneliness, hopelessness and isolation.
Emotions are the body's reaction to your mind. They are a response to your thoughts. Good or bad, like or dislike, enjoyable or tiring.
Remember the example from the previous section regarding the office colleague? The voice in your head tells a story, your body believes it and reacts accordingly. These reactions are your emotions, which in turn are confirming and feeding energy back to the thoughts that created them. It is a vicious cycle of unchecked and automatic thoughts and emotions.
Make it a habit each day to imagine what life would be like if you achieved your perfect weight. Picture the pleasing outcome vividly to help maintain your positive emotions. This will act as your incentive to move forward with ease and confidence.
Stop expecting the world to bring you joy; you will never get it this way. Joy does not come from what you do; it flows through how you do what you do. When you find joy in doing something, not just “doing” as a means to an end, you will actually enjoy who you are as a being.
Awaken to the joy of nourishing your body and to the process of maintaining good health by selecting your food consciously, and not compromising by eating whatever is available.
“Whether You Think You Can or Can’t, You’re Right” - Henry Ford.