If I asked you what makes you unhappy you might tell me about your boss, a family member, or something else. I am not discounting anyone’s experience, but what really makes us unhappy is having unmet needs and desires. We want our boss to stop treating us a certain way. We want to quit feeling bad about a broken relationship. Maybe we need money to pay our bills. What do we do about these problems, until we can change our circumstances?
This post is not about settling for whatever comes your way, and being happy about it. It’s about accepting our circumstances for what they are at the moment. When we have unmet needs and desires it causes us to become discontent. If we can’t see our way clearly towards a solution, it can lead to unhappiness or even depression.
The most effective way to stop this cycle is to really think about our circumstances without reacting to them. Accept them and then ask… Now What?
For much of my adult life I had a lot of things to be thankful for, but I felt like the world was caving in on me. What I discovered was my unconscious mind playing the same thoughts over and over. I didn’t realize how much control our unconscious thoughts have over us. Have you ever wondered why you don’t do what you ought to?
We consciously know that exercise is good for us, but until we can manage to make exercise a habit, we opt out often enough that we end up having to start from scratch again. When we think about exercising, our unconscious mind tries to keep us from that pain. If we don’t take action right away those unconscious thoughts take over. Next thing we know we are planted somewhere on our backsides.
It is often these same kinds of thoughts that are making you unhappy. The first step is to use mindfulness, prayer time, or meditation to clear your mind and just notice the thoughts that are coming up. Purposefully taking notice of those thoughts that are rising, but not reacting to them is the first step in stopping the cycle of negative thoughts. That is what accepting what is without responding to it means. Once you know what those thoughts are you can choose to replace them.
If this post hit home for you and you want to explore in more depth what you can do to make your life more of what you want schedule your free Thirty Minute Consult.