I am a very positive person but even my mind can be taken over by sad thoughts from time to time. Less often now after I’ve started practicing positive mindset and meditation. Before I could just let my thoughts take me to whatever place and usually it wasn’t a happy one. Bad thoughts are very clingy and if you go with the flow can not only spoil your day but your life as well. We know that we are the creators of our own destiny but not a lot of people realize that it all starts in our minds. “What you think, you become” – I cannot say it more clear than that and cannot stress enough how true that is. Creating a positive mind and attitude now will help you achieve all your goals in life later and make you life more enjoyable now. It is not that hard as it might seem at first. All it takes is to be more aware of NOW and practice. Just as you can train your body to be strong, you can also train your attitude to be positive.
Our minds like to wonder. A lot. Thinking about the past, the future, or what would have been. That makes us unhappy. There’s a research to back this theory up. You can watch the video here. I think what the wondering really does – it distracts us from appreciating the NOW moment and that is when you life actually is happening. When you are too concerned about your future or too busy reliving your past, you don’t notice the beautiful moments that surround you all the time and you don’t really get to live them.
The best memories are usually the ones about traveling and vacations. Ever wondered why? Yes, it’s the change of the location and excitement about visiting a new place but I think it is mostly because that is when we live our lives to the fullest. You give yourself the permission to stop worrying and you enjoy every single second of it. You are more present than ever. Why let your mind wonder if there are so many interesting things going on around you?!
You have to learn to be present, just as you had to learn other things like riding a bicycle or speak foreign language. That what mediation is for. I’ve never realized how my thoughts take over all my attention and energy all the time until I’ve tried to sit still and not think for 30 minutes during vipassana mediation. I actually cried at my first meditation class (it was kind of embarrassing). It was such a profound moment for me and deeper I went into mediation, better I understood that all the unhappiness in my life was cause by not being conscious enough, not choosing my thought more carefully, not being present. It is not an easy task but it makes the quality of your life so much greater, that it’ss all worth it and it really is the only way to live.
I think happiness is fulfillment. Also because there are so many different types of fulfillment it confuses people what happiness really is. There’s fulfillment from achieving your goals, from true friendships, parental love, even new pair of shoes. Some of them are easier to achieve (like a new pair of shoes) and can easily get you addicted if it is your only source of happiness, others take time and hard work (like happy marriage and real friendships) that can last your whole life.
To be truly happy, I think one needs to combine all those elements – you cannot be truly happy if you are only persuading your career goals, neglecting your family and friends, or if you are pouring all your energy into your kids forgetting to give some love and attention to your needs. It’s not an easy task to balance but we’ve got all our lives to practice and learn, why not to start today? Again, it only takes practice and desire to make your life better and few minutes of your day.
The Five-Minute Journal app is my resent discovery but it already is making such an impact on my life. It is built on the proven principals of positive psychology and it is designed to create and maintain positive thinking patterns. All you need is few minutes of your time a day to write down what you are grateful for and what are three amazing things that happened to you during the day. Pretty simple, right? To be completely honest I was pretty skeptical about it but my curiosity won and I gave it a try. And who would think? It DOES work! You might not notice it right away but when you do you will know.
I am grateful for a peaceful sky above my head, for my loving parents, for a fact that I am not starving among other things. But it is not the kind of gratitude I want to talk about (not that I am thinking it is not important. Of course, it is). The kind of gratitude I want to talk about is giving thanks to yourself for achieving your goals and your little victories.
There are so many things to be grateful for in our lives but our minds are rather concentrate on other stuff like the things we don’t have, or goals we did not achieve yet, etc. I’ve noticed that about my mind not long ago. I had a goal, I achieved it but as soon as I did my mind would dismiss it in a matter of a second like it wasn’t a big deal in the first place, stripping me off that amazing feeling of fulfillment. Of course, you shouldn’t rest on your laurels for too long but not thanking yourself for achieving your goal is not good either. Because one day you might find yourself thinking “Why try? It won’t make me feel good anyways even if I will achieve it.” I came close to this but thankfully noticed what I was doing wrong before it was too late. Take a moment, revise your steps toward your goal, remember all the hard work you had to do and all the obstacles you had to overcome, take notice and thank yourself for being a strong person that you are.
But it’s not only the big achieved goals that you should be thanking yourself for but the smaller things too. Especially the smaller things, like overcoming your laziness to go to gym or yoga class, or making your thoughts slow down to be more present, or stopping and smelling the flowers.
bag: MICHAEL KORS / earrings: J.CREW