We all know we get a lot more done and have a lot more fun when we are feeling happy – it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter if you are in the creative mode, practical mode, spiritual mode or any of the other aspects that adds up to Who you are, Happy wins.
So how do you get there? How do you stay there?
I can’t tell you how to be happy, it’s all about the thoughts that go on inside your own head, but I can tell you that being aware that your thoughts govern your mood goes a long way to mastering your life – your thoughts and your feelings.
I went from learning how to combat negative thoughts to thinking positive thoughts much of my day. Life is too short to dedicate it to the negative. Do you think the Universe put you here to cry? Do you think the human animal evolved to this majestic point of mind and mastery, of skills of the intellect, artistic endeavor and cognitive awareness – all so you, personally, could be unhappy? I don’t think so.
Pull the plug on the doom and gloom foisted upon you from outside sources. Doesn’t matter what they are saying or who they come from, they are not worth your time. Start listening to the voice inside, start listening to Who You Are and start reaching for your potential.
Don’t fight negative thoughts, that will enhance them. Especially as you are working on the changeover, bear in mind that your style of thinking is a habit. If it’s negative, it will try to reassert itself. Don’t fight. Replace.
When replacing negative thoughts – or just wanting to start your day in a positive frame of mind – ask yourself to list a number of good things. Asking yourself for a number is more important than thinking positively alone. Why? Because if you’re in a bad mood or focused on something that upsets you and you tell yourself to “Think positive,” the likely response will be “Yeah, sure – later.” I know this, I’ve been there. If, instead of saying “Think positive” you say, “Give me three good things you can see right now,” automatically you will list them. You might have to search, but you will list them. Therefore the difference is doing rather than postponing. During the listing, of course, you have stopped focusing on the negative. You have shifted your thoughts.
It doesn’t matter what it is you actually look at that is positive. These might be things you see around you right then and there, it might be things you are looking forward to, memories or events happening in the now. Also, any number is good. Three is an easy starting point, but ten stretches the exercise and blocks of those negatives just a tad longer (it all helps).
That flower, the feel of the air, the smile of a loved one, a happy email, beautiful pictures on your screensaver, a perfect cup of coffee, a wonderful memory, the happy countenance of a stranger, a bird song, music – anything. They bring a smile, they open a door to feeling good. Don’t just list them as words, think about each one. What is it about that flower that makes you put it on your list? The beautiful color? The soft feel of the petals? The scent? The shape? Do that with each of them. Examine each item as it goes onto your list. Enjoy them.
What if, after the exercise, you go back to the negative? Hey, then do it again. There’s plenty more out there. A rainbow, a crystal on your mantelpiece, a birthday card, how green the grass is (or how colorful the Autumn leaves), something you bought recently or would like to get, the sound of laughter, the wind through your hair, chocolate, a scented candle, a hug.
The good will linger, touching your soul with kinder energy than the negatives ever did, and then go about your day.
I was a worrier. I laughed and joked and was supportive on the outside, but inside I lived in fear for more than 30 years. I didn’t even know I was doing it, it was so ingrained by then, so automatic. I feared for the future, I feared for my health, I feared for the planet. I feared loss most of all. When I realized I was thinking like this, I was appalled (I had always considered myself to be optimistic), but it was hard to stop. “Think positive” just didn’t stay around long enough to be effective.
Then one day I started counting the good things, replacing negative with positives in a list. That was the secret for me, that was what worked. What surprised me then was that it only took two or three weeks for the transformation to complete itself. I am not joking, I truly turned my thoughts – and therefore my creativity – around in three weeks.
I still list the positives, not to replace so much any more (except if a negative pops up – we all get them occasionally), but just as an ideal way to start and continue my day. I get a lot of stuff done, I can shrug off casual negatives – there are not many of those, anymore, and they just don’t bother me now. I live life to the full, I look ahead with excitement, and I celebrate every moment of my life and every interaction – such as with you, now. Your voice, your blog, or just you reading this. My life is Joy.
I wish someone had taught me this when I was a kid, but the important thing is I found out and I put it into practice all the time. It works. I feel good. My health has improved, too (hey, another positive!), and the few lows that come are nowhere near as low as they used to be. I can actually say that the lows that crop up occasionally now are as high as the highs I used to have occasionally. Amazing.
Anyhow, if you’re not already doing something similar, try it. It doesn’t matter if you’re feeling down at the moment or not. It will lift you higher with very little practice. It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s good. And you don’t have anything to lose – except those negatives.
So… Happy Thoughts, everyone.