There are a lot of unhappy people in the world, aren’t there.
What happens in your head when you’re unhappy? You think something isn’t right, or someone else should do something for you but didn’t – you basically think of things that are not going your way.
You may then make a conclusion that you’re not happy.
Well, actually, happiness is not what happens to you. Happiness is an emotional state derived from neuro-chemical changes in your brain. It’s based on the mental representations you build (see ‘submodalities). The level of happiness is not created as a result of having something, well, at least not necessarily anything tangible.
So, think of all the things that you want. Imagine as vividly as you can that you are already living that life. How does that feel? Good? You could then say you are “happy”.
But some people will say that when they wake up from that dream, they become sad again because they are in a reality where they know that their imaginings will never come true!
Isn’t that sad! I mean, not sad that their dream will not come true, but to have an absolute believe that where they are and where they imagine are two different things or places.
The fact is, if you imagine yourself feeling happy, you already go there. The main issue is not whether you feel happy or not, but rather the expectation that you have to feel happy all the time. And true enough, we are all creatures of habit. The less we think about being happy, the less happy we become. We are also emotional masochists sometimes. We ruminate in bad feelings and are really good at feeling bad for no good reason. Don’t you know someone who can get upset at literally almost anything?
From a neurological perspective, what does that mean? Aren’t you rehearsing the same feelings, thereby begetting the same feelings? Neurology has discovered that when the brain fires the same patterns, they literally solidify and become easier to access. In other words, over 90% of the world’s population regularly trains their brain to make them feel bad.
Do I never feel bad?
Well, of course not. I’d rather just focus on the good feelings that I want to build and leave out the rehearing of bad ones. It doesn’t mean I’ll ignore the bad feelings, because bad feelings can also be signals. I mean… if I feel lots of pain, then it’s a signal that I have to attend to. If I’m stepping on a bear trap, I can’t just ignore the pain. I attend to where the pain is, and then figure out how to remove the thing that’s causing the pain.
To ensure you keep triggering happy thoughts, you need to build for yourself a reminder system. What are your successes? Who cares about you? What can you do that others can’t do? What makes people feel you are special?
As you build a mental database of these items, imagine if everything in your life just reminds you of these things. Even the worst of problems help you to connect to the mental database of great things happening in your life.
Most of the time, human beings forget that there are good things that have happened in their lives. We forget that even the time we could tie our shoelaces was a triumph, let alone learning to walk or swim or make friends. We take for granted these achievements, then say that life is bad.
Instead, we need to remember. We need to learn to re-connect ourselves with moments in our lives that matter, even for a split second. Even if it no longer matters today (lollipops may have mattered at age 5 more than they do now).
Travel back in time (see ‘timeline’) and associate in the moments of your success and happiness. If you do that everytime you open your eyes, turn on the TV, argue with someone, open a door, write an email, start your car… anything can remind you of the other side of you. Simmer in those good feelings for a while before you start your day!