How to be "Happy"

. Before we can answer the question, first we must ask what makes you unhappy. If your answer isn’t immediately “My Thoughts” then you believe that your happiness is dependent on external entities. Truth is, factually, it is our thoughts that create our conclusions, anxieties, guilt, anger, sadness, disappointment, shame etc. External entities or certain circumstances, for e.g. Exercise, job promotion, finances, a relationship etc., will only distract you for a moment causing temporary happiness, but will never make you consistently happy. If your strategy is to accumulate factors outside of yourself in hope that it will make you happy, essentially you are saying that, when I obtain or achieve XYZ, this will ultimately stop all the thoughts in my head, or at least, a large chunk of them. The truth is, your thoughts are the primary source of your suffering or survival. Thoughts create conclusions, emotions and behaviors. The source of your unhappiness are your thoughts. Yes bad things happen everywhere but those things are not factually the primary source of your undesired emotion. Your emotional brain called the Thalamus, is no bigger than a fig. Your thoughts trigger your Thalamus, adrenalin and cortisol is released when you have a negative or threatening conclusion and you physically experience a negative emotion. This is the fundamental source of your emotional suffering. Elevated cortisol over the long term consistently produces glucose, leading to increased blood sugar levels, skin rashes and even cancer. Your thoughts can also trigger endorphins, serotonin and oxytocin, which is vital for experiencing joy, appreciation, reduced stress, improves wellbeing and better decision making. Your quality of life is directly determined by your thought/conclusions you choose to partner with. How does one get rid of the thoughts that make you unhappy? The first thing you do anytime you experience unwanted emotion such as anxiety, sadness, and disappointment is to just STOP! Take 100% responsibility for your emotion. Ask yourself, what is the real source of this emotion? Is it really something “Out There…”or is it a self-inflicted thought/story in my head triggering my Thalamus? Every time you experience suffering and then try to change something “Out There..” you are not addressing the cause of your suffering, which are your thoughts. It is the collection of thoughts that form a “Story” in your mind. Fact: The self-produced story in your mind is the source of your emotional suffering. Once you identify the “Self-Produced Story” in your mind, then what you need to do is sincerely investigate your story. This may require some professional help. For E.g. I am anxious about my job interview next week and therefore I can’t sleep. 1. STOP! 2. Recognize that the Job interview is not the source of your stress or lack of sleep. 3. What is the story/conclusion you have formulated in your mind? - “It would be bad for me if I don’t get this job” 4. Now sincerely investigate this story by asking your inner narrative a few simple questions. a. Would I be in danger or out on the streets if I don’t get this job? – No. b. Is it possible that good may come from this if I don’t get the job? – Yes it is possible. c. What if you get the job, how do you know it will make you happy? – I don’t know. (“I don’t know” is not a reliable truth/conclusion to base your joy, peace and wellbeing on.) d. If I don’t get this job, is it possible that my next job could be better? – Yes it is possible. e. Are your fears about not getting the job factually true? – I can’t prove it (“I can’t prove it” is not a reliable truth/conclusion to base your joy, peace and wellbeing on.) f. What facts have I used to back up my story? – None that I can prove. g. In a court of law, can I prove my story to be factually true beyond any reasonable doubt? – No. Note: Anytime you are experiencing extreme emotions that is causing you to suffer, it is most likely because you have formulated a story/conclusion which you haven’t fully investigated. We as humans have a tendency to always want to define our own reality as being factually true, with no solid facts to prove it. Subconsciously we have appointed our own imagination as our primary source of truth. We jump to conclusions with little or no facts to prove it. We imagine problems, then try to control our external world in an attempt to make us happy. Many people remain stuck in this self-defeating cycle for months, years and lifetimes. This inferior thought strategy is a pipeline for anxiety into your life. For E.g. You had an unpleasant encounter with a person and made a judgment about them. When we judge someone to be bad, we believe it to be factually true purely based on our own conclusion with no solid facts to prove our conclusion. If we are honest, we get a little bit of pleasure when we judge someone or ourselves to be bad, because that would mean that we are right. Either way, being right makes us feel good or being right, makes us feel better about doing something bad. But if you were to investigate the facts, you will soon see that your original judgment about that person may not be entirely factually true. For argument sake, let’s just say if that person was judged/concluded to be bad, if that were true, then factually, that would mean that everybody that person encounters would have exactly the same experience wherever that person went in the world because that person is “Bad’. This cannot be factually true. But if you were to investigate and ask, Is it possible that soon after the unpleasant encounter with that particular person, they called their mother and made her smile? Yes it is possible. Perhaps that person did something really kind and generous for someone else straight after your unpleasant encounter with them. Does that really prove this person is factually bad? You see, they cannot be factually bad and most certainly cannot factually be the source of your suffering. However, the story that person triggered in your own mind, must be identified, managed responsibly and investigated with intention before making a conclusion that forms the foundation of how you are choosing to experience that person. The second you investigate and prove your “Story/conclusion“ to be untrue, your anxiety will disappear. Simply identifying your story and putting the effort in to investigate whether it is factually true, is a mind skill called cognitive restructuring. If you master the art of cognitive restructuring, you will have more peace, more constructive conclusions and less suffering in your life. STOP! Sincerely investigating whether your “Story/conclusion” is true or not, will change the conclusion/thoughts in your mind that is causing you to suffer. Remember: The substance that makes up a problem does not lie within the problem itself, but rather in the conclusion that was formed about the problem and the quality in your response. Wat looks like a problem to you, may look like an opportunity to someone else. If you would like a series of coaching sessions in Cognitive restructuring please book a session. Your questions or comments is welcomed. Bless you. Theo Claassen - Profesional Life Recovery Coach

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