You can be happy right NOW, regardless of what’s going on in your life. I know sometimes this can be hard to believe, but happiness is closer than you think… Learn about the relationship between your thoughts, feelings & moods.
I’m about to ask you a very important question and when I do I want you to say (out loud) the first thing that pops into your head without thinking… Are you ready?
What makes you happy? And… GO!
I asked for the first thing that popped into your head and you said what you said, no take backs. 😉
Now, no matter what comes to mind, you will not find any judgment here, because the first word that popped into mine was CHOCOLATE! lol
And I would be willing to guess that whatever your answer was, it was likely something that is external to you. Am I right?
For example most people answer with things along the following lines;
Family, friends, vacations, weekends, wine, work, money, shopping, food, parties/socializing, hobbies etc…
And when we look at this list I can understand that yes, any and all of these things have the potential to elicit positive emotions within us.
But if it is true that these things bring us happiness, why is it that we all know people who have all of these things going for them but they are still miserable?
A few years ago this happened to me. I had everything I thought I ever wanted, a family who loved me, my dream job, a great income, lots of time off, a nice house, good friends, vacations, and a lot of other great stuff and yet I was finding it more and more difficult to drag myself out of bed every morning. I was completely burned out, anxious and depressed and my loved ones were expressing their concern for my overall wellbeing.
And I see this now with my beloved clients as well. So often women come to me and say things like…
“I have a great life, so why am I so exhausted and unhappy? What is going on?”
Well let’s start at the very beginning… What is happiness anyway?
Having spent quite a few years studying happiness and applying what I have learned in my own life, and in my business, here is what I believe…
Happiness is (of course) a feeling. It’s a feeling that comes from an internal state of overall contentment and wellbeing. And something that may surprise you is that happiness is our “factory default” setting, meaning that it is a state that we are able to return to with ease, if we would just get out of our own way. Yes, we CAN just BE happy.
But instead we often create barriers to our happiness. We spend our lives in a sort of trance-like state, going through the motions of life, believing that our happiness depends on what is going on in our external world and we spend all of our time trying to control things that we have zero control over. A pretty sad route just to be happy, right?
Now just think back to that list earlier about what we believe makes us happy… all external things right?
So what if, all we had to do to feel a greater sense of happiness and wellbeing was to change the direction we are looking?
Go ahead and do this now… for real…
Step 1) Turn your head and start looking in a different direction.
Step 2) What do you see? Do you see more? Do you see things you weren’t seeing before when you were staring at your computer/phone screen?
Of course you do. Therefore we can agree that when we look in a different direction we can see more of what is there and has been all along.
All we need to do if we want to experience greater happiness and wellbeing is to look in a new direction and that direction is inward.
Isn’t this a relief?
And now some of you may be wondering… But how do I do this looking inward thing?
Do I have to travel to an Ashram in India, visit a monastery in Tibet, meditate for hours or do yoga every day just to be happy?
The answer to these burning questions is HECK NO! While these experiences may be enjoyable the truth is this ‘looking inward thing’ is easier than you think, and takes no time at all. And once you understand this, you will never be able to unlearn it.
You see, human beings are the only species that possess the single most powerful resource here on planet earth (our IMAGINATION!). But instead of using this incredible resource to our advantage, we use it against ourselves and come up with worst case scenarios, all the reasons why we are doomed to fail, why things won’t work out, etc. In fact we spend a lot of time in our heads weaving our thoughts into elaborate stories that are often pure fiction.
These stories bring up some pretty powerful emotions in us that gather like storm clouds and create moods.
These moods can come on pretty quick as one thought leads to another and another etc..
The process looks something like this:
- Our mental activity increases (one thought leads to another and another)
- These thoughts gravitate towards the negative ie; problems and dissatisfaction
- We begin to think our circumstance is intolerable and requires immediate action
- We feel self-conscious and alone (everyone else has their shit together and I don’t)
- We begin to focus more and more on our limitations and become blind to possibilities
- We entertain and analyze more and more negative thoughts, emotions and problems
Yep! You guessed it… as our mood goes into a downward spiral so does our energy.
But back to the easy part… You can be joyful right now…
You see it isn’t the mood itself but how we relate to it that determines our happiness. It’s our thoughts about our moods that take us into that downward spiral. Understanding the relationship between our thoughts and our feelings is what creates our reality.
Just as our thoughts and moods can bring us down they can just as easily bring us up.
When your mood is low, so is your energy. When your mood is high, so is your energy.
So no need to pack your bags and head to that Ashram to be happy, because all we need to do when we’re feeling low is be graceful and compassionate with ourselves, recognizing that our thoughts are temporary. They come and go like waves on the beach. And we can calibrate our moods by understanding that they provide an important function in our lives. They are part of our internal guidance system. And our feelings at any given moment tell us about the quality of our thinking, NOT the quality of our lives.
Therefore, our feelings, when tapped into and properly understood, serve as a self-correcting mechanism in our internal guidance system that can return us to a place of happiness and wellbeing, which I believe is our natural state.
The problem is that so many of us lose sight of this and mistakenly attribute our feelings to outside sources. When, in fact, all feelings come from our thoughts. Always. Every time. End of story. We forget to just be happy.
5 Tips for How to Be Happy Right Now
In a nutshell, here is what you need to remember about how to improve a low mood;
- When you’re “in a mood” there is nothing you need to analyze, fix, change or work on. The less attention you give to your mood and thoughts the better. Thoughts and moods come and go. Let them.
- When you are “in a mood” don’t make any important decisions. Chances are you can’t believe any of your thoughts in these moments. Wait until you are in a higher state of mind before taking action on anything.
- When someone around you is “in a mood”, remember to give them grace and space. Put everything they say and do into the context of “the mood”. Don’t hold things against them, try to fix them, problem solve with them, or argue with them.
- Being compassionate with yourself and others when a mood creeps in will help everyone to feel better. Compassion will bring comfort to the person with the low mood, and it may even help them to feel better.
- Be open to the possibility that your mood (or others) might improve in an instant. Just recognizing that “it is just a thought (or thoughts) and they will come and go” will create some space between you and the thought and can change your feeling state in an instant.
Remember; happiness is just a thought away! I want you to BE HAPPY! If you need some help getting there, please CLICK HERE to get in touch with me. If you found this article helpful, I would love to hear your feedback. You can comment below, or connect with me on social media 💗