When Are You Going to Be Happy? How About Now?
Right now, in this moment, are you happy? Here’s an interesting concept –
Happiness only happens in the present moment.
And our ability to be happy right now is influenced by our current thought.
What are you thinking about? Some past drama or frustration? Some future worry? Or something good?
Most of us don’t even think about what we think about; much less take action to “think again.”
What if you’re eating your most favorite food in the world, but you’re worried about a meeting at work tomorrow? You look down as you take the last bite and realize you never really tasted it.
What if you’re finally on that vacation you’ve been planning for months, but you keep thinking about all the work you’ll have to catch up with when you get back? As you’re heading home, you realize you didn’t fully enjoy and savor your time off and now it’s over.
I never knew that our brains are a lot like our other organs. Just like our heart, lungs, and liver, it functions without any input from us. We don’t need to tell it to think. It’s constantly churning out thought after thought. There are estimates suggesting we have anywhere from 20,000 to 80,000 conscious thoughts per day. Wow! But similar to our lungs that let us control our breath by slowing it down, making it deeper, or even holding it, we can also control our thoughts. It may not always be easy, and it requires attention and effort.
If you leave your brain to its default mode, it will likely spend most of its time thinking about problems, worries, past dramas, and things you don’t like. Although this is an important part of our survival instinct, if you want to be happy in this moment, you may need to “think again” and choose a thought that makes you feel better.
This week, use a trigger that will help you notice your current thought so you can decide if you want to change it. You can –
- Set alarms on your device reminding you to tune into your thoughts,
- Create a password that will remind you,
- Use a common activity as a reminder (such as every time you open the refrigerator door . . . )
- Use a visual reminder such as a note on your mirror, stop signs, etc.
- Use a physical reminder such as a piece of jewelry or a coin or stone in your pocket