The title of this post Finding Inner Peace and Happiness is kind of confusing when you think about it. The word finding is as if you are going on a search for something and it’s something to be attained. In one of my earlier posts on morning gratitude rituals, I mentioned how happiness is something intrinsic and can be summoned at any time.
If I was to name this post correctly, it should read something like “Summoning Inner Peace and Happiness”.
How do we summon inner peace and happiness?
Have you ever noticed that you experience certain emotions with a certain chain of thoughts? Sometimes we are unaware of our thoughts. But, they are always there - working away.
Let me give you an example.
I woke up one morning, and here is a little clip of my thought:
Ughhhhh I don’t want to go to work. What time is it? Maybe I can call in sick. I think I have 3 sick days left for the year. But what if I get sick? Maybe I can just make up and excuse and work from home. No, I have a client meeting today I completely forgot about.
I really just want to win the lottery, and never have to go to work again. Better get up and get ready for work. Someone needs to pay these bills.
What emotions do those thoughts summon? Maybe feeling victimized, depressed, doing something I don’t want to do. Being unhappy and dissatisfied with my daily routine.
Now let’s go back and examine a different chain of thoughts.
Ohhhhhhhh what a restful sleep. Seriously, can this bed be any more comfortable? I’m so glad I got the high thread count sheets, it’s like sleeping in between silk. I love that the sun pops through the curtains in the morning.
Tonight after work the neighbors are coming over for dinner. Gosh, they are so much fun to spend time with. We always have a good laugh. If I feel too tired after work, I’ll just order delivery. If I’m up for it, I can roast the chicken and veggies in the fridge for a quick dinner. They aren’t picky, so I’ll leave it up for the last minute.
I can’t wait to try this new coffee. I’ll sip it on my way to work while I’m listening to a podcast. I love having my mornings start with a nice cup of coffee and something interesting to think about or learn.
Can’t forget the client meeting. I’ve got most of my stuff prepared. I’ll need just a few minutes to review before heading over to the meeting.
Let’s get this day started!
What emotions did those thoughts summon? The thoughts were finding the exciting things in the day to focus on. It was the same day. However, instead of thinking about doing something I didn’t want to do, I was focusing on the exciting things in my day. Also, I was sprinkling in a few pieces of gratitude.
Every day we have continuous strings of thoughts. Our thoughts directly affect our emotions. Sometimes we are aware of our thoughts. And other times, we feel helpless and victimized by our emotions, forgetting all too often that our thoughts are something in our control.
Just like learning to play tennis is not something you can do over night. Having continual peace and happiness is not something you just wake up and flip the switch. It takes practice and awareness.
Below are some tips to finding inner peace and happiness.
- Have awareness of your thoughts and feelings.
- Identify what you have control over.
- Determine if your circumstances are making you bitter or better. How can you take something positive away?
- Think of all the things that you are thankful for.
- Think of things you look forward to.
We are not victims of a depressing life. Our cups are full, and our coffee is good.
Want another insight into happiness? Check out this TED video.