The Dalai Lama has said: ‘The very purpose of life is to seek happiness’.
The dictionary defines happiness in several ways including ‘enjoying or expressing pleasure and contentment’ but also ‘well adapted’. I find the ‘well adapted’ particularly interesting as for a lot of people, maintaining happiness or preventing unhappiness will be a job for life.
Are you an ‘away from’ or a ‘towards’?
People are driven by ‘away from’ and ‘towards’. Some people will find a situation so undesirable (job, relationship, home) that they will actively seek to change it. These people are driven by ‘away from’. The opposite is towards which means people that aspire towards things like a job they would like, a place they would like to live or a type of home or other things they might want in their life. There is no right or wrong, they are simply different drivers in people. It is useful to understand yours.
So when we talk about happiness, you may be an ‘away from’ trying to keep the wolf from the door and stopping yourself being unhappy. Or you may be a ‘towards’ which means you are looking to be happier. Considering that most people would answer ‘yes’ when asked if they want to be happy and 1 in 3 people suffer from depression. I think we can safety say that we need to address both.
Does your mind need a spring clean?
Imagine your mind is like a room that you spend a lot of time in. Do you want it to be dirty, dark, and untidy and have rotting plates of food hanging around? Out of control? Or do you want it to be clean and fresh and nicely decorated. A place of calm and control? If the answer is the latter, let’s look at some ways to give your mind a bit of a spring clean.
We are already monitoring our mind chatter. That’s the pair of muddy boots trying to come into your room!
You don’t want them in your room because they will leave dirt everywhere. So you see them coming in but either leave them outside the door or clean them up! Keep catching that mind chatter, that’s the voice inside your head that may tell you:
‘I’m not good enough’
‘I can’t do this’
‘Nobody likes me’
‘It won’t work’
You need to become a mind COP. Ne naw ne naw.
CATCH IT – OWN IT – PROTECT YOURSELF
You are catching those negative thoughts, owning them as your thoughts and protecting yourself against feeling bad or sinking into a spiral of negative thinking. Remember that spiral of negative thinking happens when we attach other negative thoughts or memories to the original negative thought.
We will be looking at drivers of happiness in later blogs but for now we are focusing on that wolf at the door because we don’t want to let him in and make our heads a mess.
Here’s the plan:
- Continue to catch your negative mind chatter – are you noticing a key theme or time it occurs yet?
- Monitor the amount of time you think negatively
- Start to acknowledge that when a thought comes in, it may not be true 🙂
- Become a mind COP. Catch it, own it, protect yourself.
Happy hug 🙂