They say life is not a bed of roses. True. But neither is it a sofa of thorns. Life for everyone – rich or poor, black or white or differently coloured, ruler or ruled – comes in cycles of good and bad, flourishing and challenging, quiet and stormy times.
When things take a turn for the worse or we’re hit by misfortunes or bad times, we tend to forget the good times we’ve had. What makes such bad times particularly gruelling is not just that they’re bad, but because of what goes on in our minds. Our minds focus on the misfortunes/bad times, reflect on how terrible they are, ask why us, compare our situation with other people’s, wonder if it would ever change and when and how, blame others for it, indulge in guilt tripping, etc.
During bad times our minds hardly focus on the good times we’ve had, which could have a therapeutic, soothing effect on us and our minds. While there’s nothing unnatural about this behaviour of focusing on the negatives during bad times, it’s not helpful. We owe it to ourselves and our well-being to unlearn this behaviour by training our minds to act differently. A good way to start this retraining of the mind is by documenting all the positive and pleasant things life throws our way.
None of us can genuinely claim that life has been all mean to us. We can’t say that we’ve never been offered pleasant, memorable experiences and moments we wished would never fade into history. So we can all record such beautiful moments in a special Happiness Journal, which we can go back to and read again and again during difficult times. And in these days of smart phones, we can make video or audio recordings part of our Happiness Journal and play them during trying times.
When life beats you, don’t add to it by narrowly focusing on the beating. Make it easier on yourself, lighten the burden of the beating by focusing on pleasant memories from the past. Let your Happiness Journal be your cheery companion during such times.
ACTION POINT: Get a Happiness Journal today and enter at least 10 of the many pleasant, memorable experiences you’ve had in life.
Copyright © Aniekan Ezekiel 2019