Monday, June 25, 2007

We're born to be happy

Why is it that happiness remains an elusive factor in the lives of many? Read on the find out a few ways to bring back the smile.
"I'm sick of my life," a patient of mine remarked the other morning. "I can't stand this anymore. When am I going to be happy?" This statement reminded me of a small thought. Imagine being in a small boat drifting in a river. And imagine being unaware that your boat has a motor. As long as you fail to use that motor you will be a captive of the river. You will be a prisoner without any control over your destination. Yet, the boat that we're in does have a motor. We can use it to change course. That motor is our power of choice. All we have to do is choose to look for the happiness, for when we do so, that is all we will find!

Misinterpreting the situation:

Most negative thoughts are based on misinterpreting situations. Compounding the matter is that negative thinking that slips into the brain under the radar of conscious awareness and becomes one of the strongest of habit patterns. People generate negative thoughts so automatically they are unaware that what is happening is actually a choice they are making. If you feel negative, look around the situation. Are the facts on which you base your pessimism correct? Are you really judging other people accurately ? Are you imagining the worst, with no actual reason for doing so?

Bad Moods:

Bad moods are caused by a number of reasons. One of them is frustration . If you are frustrated with your work or you do not like the way things are at your work, you tend to take out the frustration on your family. The second reason is anger and irritation. For example, your significant other said something hurtful to you. You did not have the guts to reply back and so you swallow the anger and humiliation only to take it out on your near and dear ones.

Images of perfection:

The tendency to think about one's life, job, partner, self, etc in terms of what 'should' be as opposed to the reality. This feeling is highly influenced and fostered by advertising and societal expectations . People who think in rigid, evaluative absolutist: (AB) terms - like perfectionists and control freaks - are more susceptible to emotional and physical problems than those who are open-minded and flexible.

Overworked stress hormones:

Instead of using these stress hormones in emergencies, we are now living at such a pace that we activate them all the time - like when we are going to miss a train or can't get onto the internet or worrying about finishing a report at work. With no release, your stress hormones keep on working, which is why there are so many people around who lose their tempers at the slightest provocation.

Here's how to turn unhappiness around and make things better!

Detox your mind:

Maryann Troiani, Ph.D. a speaker , media personality and consultant says that you can detox your mind just as people detox their bodies . To get rid of negative or intruding bad thoughts, remember this 'Rule of Happiness' : You can only keep one thought in your mind at a time. You can focus your thoughts on either pessimistic/unhappy or optimistic/happy thoughts. It's your choice. It's imperative to spend a few minutes each day thinking about the things that make you happy. These few minutes will give you the opportunity to focus on the positive things in your life and will lead you to continued happiness. When setbacks or problems pop-up , immediately focus on finding a solution rather than brooding on it.

Avoid comparisons:

Some people equate happiness with material wealth. Often material wealth seems to be thought of as a key to happiness. We do have a propensity to envy people with such success and often think that wealth would make us happy. It is noteworthy that many individuals with material wealth have achieved this through hard work and perseverance , which are qualities worth emulating in whatever you do. However, wealth is definitely not a guarantee of happiness.

Deal with frustrations:

Frustration and disappointments often ruin your peace of mind, and are usually over things that don't matter in the first place. Most things aren't worth getting upset over. Learning to differentiate between the important things in life and the unimportant is the trait you should develop. How can you tell what is important and what is not? The next time you are tempted to get upset over something, ask yourself, "Is this something that is worth suffering?" You'll easily discover that 99 per cent of things you usually allow yourself to fret over, are not worthy of a second thought, much less ruining your day or losing sleep because of them.

Spend some time alone

Solitude is a time that can be used for reflection, inner searching or growth or enjoyment of some kind. Deep reading requires solitude, so does experiencing the beauty of nature. Away from hustle-bustle we all need time to unwind and contemplate.

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