Updated: Oct 12, 2021
We all have the potential to be happy, and we also have the potential to be miserable. The potential for both of these things is present in each and every one of us.
If we want to be happy, then we have try to grow the positive and useful aspects of ourselves. We have to try hard to reduce the negative patterns that we pay so much attention to.
Positive acts always bring us inner strength. With inner strength we have less fear and more self-confidence. Because the mind controls the body it doesn’t matter if the positive act is a mental thought or an outward expression. Everything begins with a thought.
It is very important to recognise our potential for both positive and negative, and then to observe and analyse it really carefully.
The mind is not fixed; therefore it is possible to enhance the quality of our thoughts. We can train our brain to lessen anger, hatred, jealousy and negativity. And it is absolutely possible to increase the qualities of friendliness, openness, love and positivity for ourselves and others.
Our mind has the most influence over us so we should dedicate our most serious efforts to bringing about mental peace.
In our lives we naturally and instinctively we look outward to the material world. We expect and demand happiness from our partner, our job, and everything else. When it doesn’t meet our expectations we become angry or depressed.
Anger is interesting when we observe it from within. The outward expression of not getting what you want, is anger.
Take a moment to reflect.
Now ask yourself; when I get angry is it because I’m not getting what I want?
Driving the car, we encounter traffic and our instant reaction is anger. Our partner isn’t listening to us, our reaction is anger. You missed out on that perfect job and yep, you guessed it, anger.
Depression is the inward expression of anger. We get depressed because we’re not getting what we want. When the world around us fails to meet our expectations, we feel a sense of separation, detachment and we withdraw.
It requires personal reflection to understand the workings of the mind. We are so used to telling ourselves I’m depressed, sinking in the emotional turmoil, and the felt sense experience that’s all so consuming. In this state we lose our mental clarity.
When we think about happiness we usually think me, my, I, want, need. When the ‘I’ doesn’t receive what it wants, it behaves badly.
We need to recognise for as long as we live in this world we will encounter obstacles and problems, that obstruct our life goals. It’s not uncommon to lose hope and become discouraged. We have to use this as the the basis for change.
Wishing and hoping alone will not transform the mind; we also need effort and commitment. Transformation won’t happen overnight; old habits, especially mental ones, resist change. But with effort you can definitely achieve positive mental changes and improve your wellbeing.
From my own experience, I am convinced that through consistent training we can develop our minds. When we truly recognise that there is some need to change, then our mind can change.
Meditation is a tool to focus, stabilise and relax the mind. In this state we create just enough space for our problems and emotions not to overwhelm us. Clarity that comes from a stable mind gives us the room to reflect.
If we are bold and willing to change, transformation can begin.
Start your meditation practice as a short daily ritual. With a reflective practice, it doesn’t mean we suppress our emotions. We begin to work with emotions like rage, anger and the negative emotions that arise.
Anger and depression are indicators that we are not getting what we want. Life isn’t about getting what you want, it’s about living in harmony with what you have. And harmony comes from having a realistic, calm and reflective mind.
Happiness in the here and now is an internal affair.
Daniel Troyak is a Mindfulness-based Therapist.
With his support, unpack and unravel the contents of the mind.
Learn the tools for emotional processing and healing so you can live a happy, calm and peaceful life.