Happiness is a journey, not a destination. It’s common for all of us to say to ourselves that we’ll feel satisfied when this or that happens. When we do this, it distances us from the present moment, because we’ll always be chasing and reaching out for something ahead, while never fully grasping and enjoying the moment. As a child, we were able to feel joyful in an effortless way, because we had a greater appreciation for the simple and small things. Likewise, the small things could make us cry. As many of us grow older, it’s the same thing, in that the simple and small things can bother us or make us feel happy, if we focus on them.
The power of self-talk affects our everyday lives, from how we feel and what we do. Those who have a powerful positive internal self-talk are very likely to attract positive people and influences into their own life. Perhaps it’s a job, relationship, aspiration or whatever it may be, we’ve all had those moments we’ve said to ourselves “I’ll be happy when I get it”. It may not have been vocalised, but it was a feeling. We felt frustrated because of the wait, and wondered if we did well in a test or if we got the house. “I’ll be happy once I have this..once I lose this much weight..once I meet the one..once I get this job”.
Focusing on choosing to be happy right here, right now whatever the circumstances, and choosing a positive attitude is down to ourselves. Most of the time when we hit rock bottom, we’ve come to a point where everything weighs heavily on our shoulder. There’s a rush of thoughts of the past and the future, which makes us lose presence of living in the moment and enjoying the gift of life. There are many emotions that we can experience, and happiness is just one of them. At the same time, one could feel at peace, content, calm and satisfied in their life. It’s also normal to feel sad. Feeling your feelings makes you more in tune with yourself, and helps you understand.
If you’ve ever watched the film Inside Out, it shows how we mustn’t bottle up the feeling of being sad. It’s acceptable to be seen as a happy person, but Sadness shows us that it’s okay to cry and let our feelings out, because in doing so we’re able to gradually let them go and in turn, it can help us grow. If we suppress negative feelings, they can build up like a storm inside of us, which is why it’s important to set them free. If we’re always chasing for happiness, we’ll never be satisfied. For example, imagine a person who tells themselves, I’ll be happy when I have this amount of money, but never feels they have enough. The focus is on lack, rather than focusing on the present moment to achieve it.
A little on sadness that I want to touch on, is that often our society says that being sad is a negative emotion or how most people only want to be surrounded or interact with people who are happy. Being sad is natural, such as losing a person you love, being let go from a job or missing someone. The rise of mental health could also be from the factor of how much stigma and suppression there is towards these emotions. Bottling feelings up end up causing them to explode inside of us, which is why when we learn that it’s okay to be sad we can be more understanding towards others and be there for them.
If our mindset is always on “I’ll be happy when…”, then we’ll never be truly happy. Rather, if we change the conversation to “I’m happy now, because…” we focus on all the things we have in this moment, and we practice having gratitude and being kinder to ourselves. It also makes us more motivated. Think of the times you may of said “I’ll be happy when I lose weight..when I get my dream job..when I make this much money”, and you focus on the lack of it. Whereas, if you focus on this moment, then you’ll start exercising and know to take each day step by step, rather than spending the time to talk about how you don’t have it. Progress takes time. True satisfaction is the growth of something over time. We can’t expect a seed to grow into a flower in a day.