Are you happy with your life?
If you are, congratulations! A cynic would say, “Enjoy it while you can. It won’t last.”
Life can be a rollercoaster ride of high and low points, successes and failures, good fortune and bad luck. It’s natural to react emotionally to those ups and downs in school, family circumstances, work, finances, health and relationships. We all feel grief with the loss of friends and loved ones. We feel down when we lose a job or feel lonely. We can feel anxious when the future seems uncertain and our lives feel out of our control.
Sometimes we can get stuck in a negative emotional state, such as depression and anxiety. Our emotions may then limit our range of thinking, and it is our thoughts that shape the lens with which we see the world.
Have you ever met someone who was chronically happy? I don’t mean euphoric, manic or unrealistically optimistic, but rather content and at peace, positive and engaged in life. They’re not on drugs and they haven’t necessarily had easier lives than the rest of us. The difference is the lens with which they see their lives.
We can get stuck in the negative aspects of our situation – the shadows of reality. Lost in this darkness, we see no light. It shapes our mood and our sense of control. It limits our behaviour; we continue to walk only in the shadows not realizing that venturing out of them – a few steps at a time – can profoundly change our perspective.
The chronically happy see their reality with more subtlety and perhaps more creativity. Knowing that our thoughts shape our feelings, they choose to see the positive in their circumstances – what they can control.
Next: What is under your control