Okay, here is a test. If you think happy thoughts, how do you think you will feel? If you think of unhappy thoughts or worse, then how do you think that will make you feel? It is a complete oversimplification, but if you think happy thoughts then more than likely, you are going to feel happy or at least happier.
Think Happy Thoughts
Even while I am sitting here and typing this there are many thoughts “floating” around in my brain and I can tell you that the majority of them do not fall into the category of “happy thoughts” either.
Things that I am frustrated about, things that I am fearful about, things that are of my control yet may affect me… many fearful thoughts which are ultimately unhappy thoughts, right?
Or I can think of things that other people have done that just pissed me off and focus on that… Like the person in the car that cut me off leaving the gym this morning or the clerk at the store who had zero sense of urgency checking me out. Well, pissed off thoughts are not happy thoughts either.
The point is this… we can sit and stew over these trivial matters in life and the longer that we stew on them, in the end; the less happy we are going to be. So yes, I have a ton of things that I can focus on and allow to derail my own happiness, we all do… that is if we want to focus on those things and only focus on those things.
But it doesn’t have to be that way…
At breakfast with a colleague last week, we discussed this very thing as the both of us, for the most part, have the skill and the capacity to see the manure in life but choose to smell the roses instead.
We know that if we think happy thoughts we are going to be happy. And neither he nor I are immune the slings and arrows of life… as the both of us have taken many hits over the years, yet we choose to see the positives rather than the negatives.
As I alluded earlier… this is something that we had to learn. I believe for some people, thinking happy thoughts instead of other less than happy thoughts comes more natural but overall it is a learned behavior. And anything that we can learn – we can master.
But where do you start?
I say begin when you wake up… instead of moaning, “Oh crap… another morning,” try being grateful that you are awake and alive instead. When you run out of hot water in the shower, instead of cursing whoever took too long of a shower before you… try being grateful that you even have running water. There is no wizardry or magic to do these things… they are simple choices that you can actively make.
Choose to think the happy thoughts or choose to not… it is up to you.
Indulging in negative thinking and allowing those negative thoughts to take hold is a habit that many of us (me included at one time) just do without even ever giving our “thoughts” a second thought. Some may argue that we are just wired that way as a leftover product of our evolution as a species, but even if that is the case, it does not mean that we have to automatically go in that direction if we do not want to.
Watch and monitor your thoughts and emotions as your thoughts DO drive your emotional state. If you catch yourself in an overly negative state, then find the thought that is driving it, or at least what it is that you are thinking about. And once you have that thought singled out, then it is up to you to cancel it out with a more pleasant thought because you can absolutely do that. It might take practice and it might take time, but you can change any thought, happy or unhappy, in an instant… it truly is that easy, or if not easy, then simple.
Want to be happy? Then think happy thoughts – it doesn’t get any simpler than that.
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Photo By Andy Wooten 27 August 2013 – Asia always seems to be thinking happy thoughts. 🙂 And yes, for me, Asis is always one of my “happy thoughts.”