Happiness is a state of mind that takes effort and commitment. We all have fleeting bursts of happiness at great news or successes, but sustained happiness as the resting state of your personality is achievable too. It’s not something that happens overnight, but if you decide you want to be happy, declare it to yourself, write it down so you know it’s true and then commit to it, it can be so.
You ultimately have the power to decide how you feel about something, and if you know you are attached to a feeling that you don’t want or need to have, you can work on letting it go. If you feel your brain is getting in the way of your enjoyment of life, tell it to stop. Decide to let go of that pain and change that habit. Being plagued by that “one bad thing” takes you out of the moment and robs you of your enjoyment of your life, which is not fair, especially when life’s pretty good. I’m the type of person (but working on it) that will be happy until one little thing goes wrong, then I decide that it’s all gone to hell. I let that commitment to my happiness fly out the window in a heartbeat and suddenly fixate on that one thing that is wrong or bad. It has to be fixed, eradicated and removed because it is the cause of my unhappiness. I decide this problem, no matter how small, is a true and valid source of worry, though I know in my rational mind that it is inconsequential and not the end of the world. The hard part is to get the rest of me to feel that way and to make it stop bothering me.
Something I’ve started to do in the face of things like this is to write a letter to myself or to no one in particular, spelling out that I would like for this thing to not bother me, and that I know it does not matter compared to the rest of what is good, and that I wish to let it go and be happy. I would like to let it float away in the wind, and for it not to hurt me. I would like to be able to enjoy the things that are good about my life, and to focus on those things and not the one bad thing. To show myself my true intentions in writing is somewhat to teach them to the muscle-memory of my brain. As soon as that thought comes up again, I remind my brain, “Let it go.” It cannot bother me anymore, it is out of my control and I want to be present and enjoy my life. Sometimes I have to get a bit sterner with my brain and literally say, “Shut up”, which with practice has worked.
If something is particularly upsetting or distracting, sometimes some breathing exercises are in order, the deep inhales and exhales that you listen to with all of your attention. Close your eyes, deep inhale in through the nose, deep exhale out through the nose, in calm and measured breaths. I recently accepted an assignment from a friend: to do this every morning for five minutes as a personal meditation of sorts, combined with a yoga pose or without. What she said this would do was relieve the disconnectedness of the day, when you can’t quite figure out how you’re feeling and your emotions are sometimes opposite.
It’s a simple enough assignment that it’s more than worth a try. I invite you all to do the same – to be relieved of caring about the things that you really don’t care about, the scratches that happen in life that seem to get so under your skin that they cancel out your sound, balanced, rational thought. Or even to let go of your own critical thoughts of something that you should for all reasons be happy about. Why it’s not really that good or why you shouldn’t feel that special. It’s possible and it’s worth it, it just takes a bit of work. Your happiness is your decision. Just don’t give up on it because you deserve it. Commit to it as a goal for yourself, keep it in sight and ask of yourself for it to be true.
Happy Sunday and much love to you all, xox Sarah