“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but the thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral.” - Eckhart Tolle
Mindfulness has a lot to do with being able to recognize the difference between your happy thoughts and unhappy thoughts. When you are having not-so-happy thoughts, know that it is okay to have them and that they are just thoughts; they do not define who you are. For instance, if you are feeling anxious about something, in being mindful you may notice the sensations in your body or realize the doubtful and overwhelming thoughts you may be thinking. It is important to take a step back and instead of telling yourself “I am anxious,” you can say “I am feeling anxious.” Thus, anxiety does not become you. When we learn to separate ourselves from our fleeting thoughts and feelings, we allow for more self-compassion.
In moments of feeling unhappy, anxious, or other unpleasant feelings, I challenge you to pay attention. Be mindful of why you are having these thoughts and feelings. Take a few moments to breathe and just bee with such thoughts. Are you able to separate them from you or even the situation?
I also invite you to attend to happy thoughts. When you feel the warmth of happiness in any moment, pay attention to the thoughts and bodily sensations in that moment. Embrace happiness in that moment and acknowledge that this feeling too shall pass.
Being mindful not only helps us become the observer of our lives, but also teaches us about how our mind and body are working for or against us. You only get one mind and body in this lifetime, so take care of it.
Note: If you would like to participate in this week’s #MayYouBeeHappy Challenge, please read more here.