Being happier is not always about external events – but about your state of mind and how you think. The good news is, you can train your mind to think differently.
Most of us tend to have pre-disposition for negative thoughts, worry unnecessarily, compare ourselves to others, and seeking 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.
Trust me, I’ve been there, done that – but luckily for me, I’m much happier and able to control my moods these days by reducing or eliminating the below.
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. I recommend using mindfulness techniques, like meditation (try the Calm app), and changing your focus whenever unhelpful thoughts crop up.
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 (a book, a hobby, an errand, having fun…) 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. Also: consider less time on social media. Studies show that those who spend a lot of time on Facebook have lower self esteem.
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 write daily gratitude lists. Try your own. List all the things you’re grateful for; starting with the most basic like “Shelter, heat, power, fresh running water…”
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.
Create the life you deserve ♡