Contributor Rachel Priest Shares her Secret to Finding Happiness
As with everything in life, there are two sides to this story. On one side is the lesson that we must accept these challenges and the negative feelings that come with them as a part of life. This will never change. But I’m not here to dwell on that side of the story. I’m here to share with you the lessons I’ve learned about the other side–the side of the story that teaches us how to unlock happiness.
Have you ever heard the saying that perception is reality? I believe attitude is everything and that our outlook forms our truth. While we may not have the power to control everything that happens to us, we do wield the power to change the way that we think about any and everything. The mind is a wild beast but if we can learn to tame it, even if only a little, we can change our world.
I challenge you to take tomorrow as an experiment. As you go about your day, try to observe yourself and your thoughts and feelings. Notice how you feel when certain people talk to you or when situations arise. Practice staying in the moment and really being aware of your thoughts. You may be surprised by where your mind goes throughout the day. Any time you catch yourself feeling down or negative, rather than sinking into the emotion, try to identify where the feeling is coming from.
When we learn how to sit back and observe our minds, we gain control over our thoughts and can channel our energy towards positivity. While this all sounds easy enough it can be very hard to actually put into practice. In fact mastering this talent takes just that-practice. It’s something I’ve been working on and have found a few exercises that have really helped me when I catch my mind drifting toward negative thoughts and feelings.
This may sound silly, but the next time you are upset, find a mirror and look directly into your eyes. Say to yourself, “Everything is okay, nothing is permanent, I love myself and am thankful for xyz.” Repeat this three times looking directly into your eyes, each time replacing the xyz for something different that you are thankful for. I’ve found that drowning out the negativity with a flood of positivity, even if only for a couple of minutes, helps to put things back in perspective and makes my current situation seem much easier to handle.
When a wave of strong emotions comes over you allow yourself to feel them, hold on to them for a minute, and then let them go. Just the other day I was so upset and frustrated with something that I burst into tears and sobbed for a solid five minutes. But then when it was over, and the tears dried, I felt so much better. Some philosophies say to completely detach from your emotions, but I think we need are emotions. We need to fully feel them, if even just briefly but then the trick is to let them go.
Our lives will be filled with ups and downs, that is the beauty of life, it is ever-changing. If we can learn to roll with the changes and to have just a little control over our thoughts, I believe we can all find some peace. Remember, you have the ability to choose how you react to life. Peace is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Control your mind, be happy, and most importantly Smile! Just Smile : )
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