A peaceful mind creates a happy life.
I have the bad habit of working myself into a tizzy whenever one thing goes wrong. Someone cancels this month’s order of shakes.. I blame myself for changing my wallet (literally). My grandma passes away… I believe that it has now started a cascade of deaths and everyone I love will be dead within the year (I am laughing as I type this out, but that was LITERALLY what I thought). One of my students fails a math test, I am the worst tutor in the world.
I have had each of these thoughts at least once over the past week.
The thing is … none of them are true! Someone cancelling a shake order has zero correlation to me changing my wallet. It IS true that if you treat your money right it will come to you in abundance, but changing to a wallet that is actually MORE organized than the last is not going to affect my money flow (The reason why I was freaking out was because I changed the colour.. I went from red, which is the colour of abundance, to a Coach wallet). Just because my grandma passed away does not mean that all of the sudden my entire family is going to die. One family member passing away has minimal correlation to any other family member becoming ill and also dying.
Over the past few weeks I have really worked myself up to the point where I am actually inducing anxiety. So, I have devised a plan that seems to be working flawlessly so far. Whenever I have a negative thought, or a thought filled with worry OR whenever I am about to do something or eat something I ask myself two questions:
- Is this going to make me happy right now?
- Is this going to make me happy in the future?
If the answer is yes to both of them, then I allow myself to continue on the thought path, do that activity or eat that food. If the answer is no to both of them, then anything I was about to do or think is a no go.
If the answer is yes to the first question, but no to the second then I also do not engage with that thought or activity.
We as humans (especially Millenials) want something right away if we know that it is going to make us happy in that moment. But I find that we often forget to reflect on whether it will make us happy later on. Some things are just for the moment, but if we want to live a happy life we have to also live for the future. For instance, if I am feeling down about my business and then I start to compare myself to a coach that has been in the business for longer, and I use the fact that they have been in the business for longer as a way to make myself feel better it will eventually backfire. It may make me feel better in the moment, but what happens if I get to that point in my business and I am still not as far along as they are? Or what happens if I am in the business for their length of time and I am doing better than them? Both of these things can cause judgemental thoughts to form and could create a toxic relationship with that person down the line. So instead, I choose to think “they are on a different life path than me”. This thought keeps me happy in the present and it will continue to keep me happy in the future. This tactic is also good for food. There are certain ‘bad’ foods that I can eat and they leave no lasting side effects, but there are some foods that, although they make me happy in the moment, will not make me happy in the future. An example is the donuts from Tim Hortons. I LOVE their donuts, but within 30 minutes I feel so lethargic and completely unfocused that it is really not worth it to eat them.
The trickiest option that could happen in the above questions is no to the first question, but yes to the second. Most of the time I will do the activity, but I will not engage in the thought process. I will continue with the activity because, most of the time, the reason why that particular action will not make me happy in the moment is because it requires work, but I know that I will feel so much more accomplished later on if I just do it. This sense of accomplishment far outweighs the slight unhappiness I may feel when completing the task. However, the reason why I will not engage in the thought process is because even though I know that working through that thought may make me happier in the future my mind is clearly not ready to go down that path. Because I have depression I am very careful with the thought patterns I engage in, and I also know that if this thought is so important it will come back up at a later time when I am ready to deal with it.
Today’s card pull was: “When in doubt I choose to see peace”
If you are struggling with finding long term happiness I highly recommend you try my tactics from above, they really are a game changer!