Being happier is not about external events – but about your state of mind and how you think. You have to train your mind to think differently.
Most human beings tend to have pre-disposition to have constant negative thoughts, worry unnecessarily, compare ourselves to others, and seek more (whether it be more money, more stuff, more vacations, more love – just more of everything) – while forgetting to be grateful for what we have. If you can learn to control these unhelpful thoughts, then you can slowly change your attitude.
I used to see the bad in things very quickly, and I worried about everything. I’d literally imagine those I loved dying. I also used to look at others and think, ‘why can’t I be like them?’ – be it owning their nice stuff, looking a certain way, or having certain perceived skills. And I’d use retail therapy A LOT. Buying stuff made me feel good; but only for a short time. The feel-good would fade even before my credit card bill came in – and then I was just left with things, stuff I didn’t even want or need.
Since I considered the below 5 things I needed to stop doing, I’ve felt happier. Give it a go…
1. Unhelpful thinking. As soon as you find yourself re-playing that moment when someone made you unhappy, angry or sad, or when you perceived you did something wrong – stop. What good will it do to keep thinking about this stuff? It takes time and practise, but eventually those thoughts pass by within seconds, instead of lingering for hours, days, or even longer.
2. Worrying. If you can control the thing you’re worrying about, take action to fix it. If you can’t control it, stop worrying and focus on something else. It might seem hard at first, but you can do it. You are in control of your thoughts!
3. Comparing yourself to others. Do you really think they’ve got it better than you? And if yes, don’t you think they had to fight for it? Don’t you think they’ve gone through their own personal struggles? Turn those thoughts around. Focus that energy on thinking of ways to improve your life, not feeling crappy about what you perceive is better for someone else.
4. Buying more stuff. No possession will make you happier. Changing your attitude will. So instead of going shopping or dreaming about that car/house/dress you really, really want, go do something fun. Life is about experiences, not possessions.
5. Forgetting to be grateful for what you have. You should only compare yourself with those less fortunate with yourself. When you do this, you realise how grateful you are for many, many things. I actually wrote down a list. Try your own. List all the things you’re grateful for; starting with the most basic like “I am not homeless”…
Train your mind to stop these 5 things, and you’ll start to shift into a more positive mindset. It won’t happen overnight, your mind has been thinking in a certain way for many years … just start with noticing your thinking patterns, and attempting to re-focus.
Give it a go and share your own tips; what else could you stop doing that will lead to you being happier?