Do you say to yourself I’ll be happy when…..? My ex-husband was one of these people. He said ‘I’ll be happy when we have our own home’, so we worked towards getting our own home. And when we got there he said ‘I’ll be happy when we have some more income’ so we worked towards getting better paying jobs. And when we got there he said I’m still not happy ‘I need to have …’; you can see the pattern. He was searching for happiness to come from an external factor and laying the blame/responsibility outside of himself.
Why is it that we look to buy things to make us happy? How often do we think ‘I really need that plasma TV, or handbag, or dress’? Then we stress over finding the money or go into debt, thinking that it will make us happy! Problem is, we then feel the same sense of emptiness shortly after……
This is placing the responsibility of happiness on outside sources. However, if you place this responsibility internally you would remove much of this angst (not to mention the savings to be made). Gratitude for what we do have is a key player in changing this perspective. Every morning when I get out of bed I ask myself ‘what I am grateful for today’ . I dare you to try it for a week and see how differently you feel at the end.
In reality, happiness is a state that we choose from moment to moment, just like any other state – fear, anger, sadness, joy etc. While it is great to recognise what emotions we are feeling it is also great to recognise that we can choose to stay in that state, or move to another one. Think about a time when you were feeling down and a friend said something to make you laugh. In an instant you changed your state.
“This too shall pass”
It is unrealistic to think that once you have found happiness, you will stay in that state eternally. We need to feel our emotions and we need to learn when to move past them onto something else. I don’t believe you have to be happy all the time, nor do I believe it is healthy. Grieving for a loved one is the perfect example of needing to allow yourself to feel the emotion. Bottling away the grief will only lead to much larger problems down the track.
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