independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Happiness is a state of mind

With Emily Hurley-wilkinson

'Happiness is not having what you want, it is wanting what you have' ... Rabbi Hyman Schachtel

MANY people spend their days striving to be happy. They strive for the ' perfect' relationship, the 'perfect job' the ' beautiful' body and so on.

Much of their emotional energy and time is spent on thinking and worrying about other's opinions of them and in doing everything they can possibly think of to make everything go their way - all in an attempt to be happy. Yet have you ever thought about what happiness is?

Doesn't happiness lie within, dependent not on others but on ourselves? Isn't it said that happiness is a journey and not a destination?

I believe that many people have forgotten how to be happy; they appear to have wired their minds to tune in and focus on the negatives of life.

These poor habits of thinking tend to be done without much conscious awareness, acted out on autopilot.

How many people do you know and hear complain about every little thing that goes wrong during the course of a given day, but they fail to realise that literally several more things go right than wrong.

Their 'radar' is on a negative frequency, seeking out of life, all negative experiences that can justify why they feel as they do and why they are in the situation that they are in.

It is a scientific fact that energy follows thought and so, according to the law of the universe, what we focus on we create. Therefore your thoughts and frame of mind can determine your reality. Be warned.

So how does a person reach the goal of being happy? Firstly, don't be led by your emotions.

We all move in and out of various emotional states throughout each day and week. Things happen that will trigger feelings of negativity and many people often get caught up in these emotions. Dwelling on negativity is a choice.

Instead, look around you and focus on what is going right within your life and be grateful for life's simple pleasures.

Many things enhance and contribute to personal happiness, such as creating a balanced life so that you can include time for social support, personal development, physical health and meaningful pursuits in addition to securing career fulfilment and financial security.

Often we become overly focused on just one area, typically family or career at the detriment of the other areas of our lives; which, over time, leads to ' overwhelm', causing stress resulting in unhappiness.

Today, why not explore the current state of your life? In coaching, this process is explored through a tool called the 'wheel of life'. As you begin to reflect on this question remember ' all' the areas of your life that are important to you.

Map out a detailed description of how you would like your whole life to look - your ' ideal life'. Then set goals in order to develop healthy, daily habits for each area and, more importantly, don't forget the importance of knowing when and how to say 'no' to too many demands on your life.

Remember this proverb: 'Be happy while you're living for you'll be a long time dead'.

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