July 23, 2011

Changing Our Minds to Change Our Lives

“Come On Get Happy!”

by Tiana Star

The Partridge Family’s theme song, “Come On Get Happy!” should be something we should sing and strive for. Happiness, though a beautiful state of being, seems to be so hard to attain at times. According to the infographic by TypCut below, If you are happy, keep doing what you’re doing, but if you’re not, you need to change something, and quick!  And perhaps, if we would change our minds and attitudes, being (and staying) happy wouldn’t seem so hard. Is there a way of changing our mindset to help us be more joyful and happy on a daily basis? I believe there is.

Let’s start with looking at children. Children seem to exude happiness no matter what life brings. Perhaps it is because they’re still excited to go for a walk, play at the park, eat an ice-cream cone, and just laugh and giggle about anything silly. They appreciate all the little things in life, and take great joy in those things.

Perhaps if we learned from these sweet children, and took the time to literally smell the roses, lie down and look up at the sky to watch the clouds, appreciate the fact that we’re alive, our minds would start to change and we could be happy.

“Are you Happy?” infographic by TypCut

I found an interesting article on “getting happy” and a list of things to do to change your mindset. Coach Emrick ((Life Coach Emric’s Blog) listed the following as a Recipe for Happiness :
Every day, wake up with a smile and be grateful for:
1. What you have, your health, your body, your spouse, your family, etc
2. What you did: vacation, parties, restaurant, entertainment, etc
3. What you are: healthy, richer than average, good work, appreciated, etc .
Make a list of all these in 3 columns. You will be amazed.
Too many of us are taking our possessions, our state, and our gifts in general for granted. Avoid thinking readily of what you don’t have. This is a reflex too many people have.” )

I’d like to continue on with what Mr. Emric said, and that that we should AVOID thinking about we don’t have, and that we should think about and be thankful for what we do have! These statements are simple, but not always easy. I think this is a great place to start and can really help us change our thinking from negative to positive- which is truly a recipe for more happiness in our lives!

Let’s add some more flavors to this recipe of happiness, yes? ☺

There’s a really cool article on Positive Thinking, (Positive Thinking Checklist) and one of their tricks is to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

For instance, Have you ever said, “I’m getting sick.” Instead, try replacing that statement with, “I’m fighting this off.” Our minds are so powerful. We need to stop allowing negative statements with our mouths and our minds to continue. Here’s another example. “I’m so stupid, I can’t believe I did that.” That’s very negative self -talk, and especially since most people say those things to other people as well. Try replacing that statement with, “Oh, I made a mistake, but let me see how I can fix that for the future.”

If you have a moment, perhaps think about any negative self- talk (or negativity towards others) and think about how you can replace that negativity with positive and happy thoughts! Your life will truly begin to change the day you start this! I mean, come on, who likes people that are mean to them? So don’t be mean to yourself or others! Start with YOU!

Now that we’ve talked about all the exciting ways we can change our lives to be more happy, let’s end with “letting go.” The truth is, we can only control ourselves, and although that is a lot,  there will be situations, and people, that we have no control over. We can use these new tips and advice to help us focus on the good, but that doesn’t mean we won’t go through hard times. It just means perhaps we can appreciate our favorite ice-cream while crying. (ha).

But I think it is important to learn to control what we can (like ourselves and our attitudes) and then let go of what we can’t.

I’d like to end with an excerpt from The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr
“Grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”

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Absolutely agree! I’m definitely guilty of wallowing sometimes, those moments when I want what others have or am envious of something or someone, but I’ve been starting out my mornings just being thankful for everything, even just the chance to wake up and live one more day, and it really does change your attitude for the better.

I’ve started a routine where first thing in the morning I sit and meditate for 15 minutes, and then freewrite for 15 minutes, and that’s when I can write down all of the fears and frustrations and petty jealousy and whatever else is plaguing my mind, and then close the book and leave it behind so I can get on with my day, putting light and love out into the world as much as I can.

And you’re right about children – for them it’s really the little things that make them happy! It’s sometimes difficult as an adult because we see all of the horrors of the world, all of the hardships, but I think the key is that while we can’t ignore that, we have to focus on the good, on the positive, and remember that the world as a whole is still beautiful and good. Each day we live is a gift. Be a child at heart and appreciate the little things, and don’t stress so much about things that don’t really matter! Our time here is so fleeting.

Reply

Renee, Thank you so much for reading, and for writing such a thoughtful reply! I LOVE your idea about meditation (i love to pray as well) and then 15 minutes of freewrite. I think I’m going to start that asap! What a great idea. Sometimes I write at night, things I can’t control just to get them off my heart, so I feel better. I like the idea to start the day that way as well. Thank you again for sharing!!! :)

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