I will be happy when I get the better job, partner, house, car, bank balance, health, blah, blah blah.
You’re setting yourself up for disaster. Have you noticed when you get the better job, relationship, house you initially feel good but then the same mind filling chatter occurs and feelings of frustration, agitation, discontentment and more. It’s a continuous cycle of thinking its out there your happiness and if I keep searching I will find it. If I try harder, work harder, push harder it will happen this happiness.
Stop right there.
Happiness is an inside job, your inner work that you alone need to do if you want to find happiness.
The 2 most important actions needed for happiness are
- Let your baggage go, let go of your past, heal from it.
- Taming the monkey mind with meditation/mindfulness which slows the mind and brings you home to you.
Louise Hayes talks about you have to feel to heal. Sometimes people become numb as a way of coping, so the first step is to acknowledge the hurt.
How to let your baggage go, let go of the past
Step 1: Acknowledge the hurt
- Stop minimising the hurt and pain you have felt and are feeling. Stop pretending that it doesn’t affect you. The ‘I’m okay’ and ‘I don’t care’ masks that you may have been wearing do not support you in the long-term.
- Stop avoiding the hurt by using tactics such as being busy, numbing, watching television, eating, drinking or overspending.
- Don’t make excuses for the person you are forgiving.
- Stop avoiding the person that you are forgiving if you are doing this in order to escape the buried emotions relating to the hurt.
Step 2: Recognise the cost
Reflect on the following:
- Resentment and anger hurts you and absorbs your energy. Even if you are not consciously thinking about something regularly, you may still be hurting. It is just in the unconscious.
- The presence of resentment and unfinished business that needs attention may be more noticeable at certain times such as around birthdays, Christmas or anniversaries. You may find yourself a little irritated, stressed or short-tempered at these times. What could these emotions be about?
- Sometimes we avoid our emotions and let the patterns of the past impact on the present. Is this happening for you?
Step 3: Let go and make the commitment to forgive
Make a conscious decision to let go of the anger and resentment. When you refuse to hold on you are no longer in the victim role. Things don’t happen to you anymore.
Remind yourself that the incident or hurt with which you are dealing – the reason for going through the forgiveness process – is a specific event and not your whole life. Becoming overwhelmed or consumed by it may lead you to avoid doing anything at all and that will only hurt you.
Step 4: Express the emotion
- Allow yourself to feel the emotions that you are experiencing. Acknowledge that they are real and that it is okay to experience them.
- Verbalise what you are feeling directly to the person, if that is possible. Alternatively, imagine the person who has inflicted the hurt is sitting in an empty chair opposite you. Tell him or her how you are feeling.
- Write a letter to the person you want to forgive. Describe how you felt when the incident happened and how you have felt since. You do not have to give the letter to the person.
- Express your anger in a way that does not harm you or anyone else. For example, you may find somewhere private to go in your car and scream at the top of your lungs, or bash the ground with a rolled up towel or pool noodle. This process of venting helps to move negative energy caused by the anger.
- Expressing how you are feeling by writing in a journal is also extremely beneficial because it enables you to empty out your hurts and pains.
You can do this over and over again to empty out the baggage. Letting it go isn’t
saying that what this person or people did is ok its setting your free.
Sometimes Counselling is needed and its very effective and much quicker than doing it on your own.
Taming the Monkey Mind
I believe this is so very important and I fought with myself for years and now little by little I have created time in my day and made it a priority to practice mediation/mindfulness and I love it and will not live without it.
Meditation is the art of focusing all of your attention in one area. Mastering the skill of meditation takes time and requires practice. The benefits of meditation include:
- Connecting to your feelings
- Slowing you down and creating space to just be
- Reducing stress, anxiety and depression
- Broadening your sense of self away from judgement and fear
- Creating space for calmness
- Connecting with your supportive inner resources
- Connecting with yourself and thereby removing feelings of loneliness and isolation
- A feeling of acceptance towards yourself
A few tips for meditating:
- Make it part of your day; a habit like brushing your teeth.
- Stretch first to loosen your muscles and allow yourself to be more comfortable.
- Understand that the art of focusing your attention on a single point is hard work and an active process.
- Join a group or listen to recorded meditations.
- Use a specific object, such as a candle, on which to focus during a meditation.
- Focus attention on your breathing. Concentrate on feeling and listening as you inhale and exhale. When your attention wanders, gently return to focus on your breathing.
- Say your own prayers or pre-written prayers that are meaningful for you.
- Try different positions – sitting or lying, opening or closing your eyes.
- Choose a room where you are comfortable.
- Place candles in the room to help you feel at ease.
- Ensure that you won’t be disturbed during the meditation.
- Know that you may feel frustrated at times. Meditation is what it is. Do the best you can at the time.
- At the end of a meditation spend a few minutes feeling appreciative of the opportunity to meditate.
Meditation takes practice, time and patience. Try different techniques and see what works for you. There is no wrong or right way. It is just about finding what brings you inner peace. The most important point is to be kind with yourself and not be critical when your mind goes off wondering, because it will.
Happiness is a choice and go within and you will find it if you stay long enough and stop looking for it out there.