Aberdeen coach Yvette Cirule explains the steps you can take to be happier…
So you want to change your life?
But changes don’t happen overnight. Changes can take time although a shift in your mindset can happen instantly.
Most of the time the quality of our lives is defined by the meaning we attach to its events.
‘Our minds prepare us for the worst scenarios’
The truth is that no event or situation in your life is good or bad. Everything just IS, until our mind does what it does best – gives it a meaning.
Humans are meaning making machines.
In order to survive our mind has learned to attach negative meanings where possible and prepare for the worst case scenario.
For example, when we’re faced with the death of a loved one our mind often chooses a thought that causes us suffering.
We may dwell on the fact we will never hold them again, or talk to them.
But we can choose to think other thoughts instead that will bring us peace.
You can focus on the fact that it was their journey; that you created many happy memories together and how much you’re grateful to have had them in your life.
Living a happy life: What about a partner breaking up with you?
If your partner leaves you might be left with the thoughts that you’re unlovable, not good enough, or that they never really loved you.
Will you be alone forever? Or will you ever find anyone as good as them?
But what about focusing on an empowering thought instead?
The right person would never leave you, so this person wasn’t right for you.
And you could be grateful for this experience, you learned a lot, and it is now time for a new chapter of your life.
Stressed about your child not cleaning their bedroom?
If your child is not doing as asked you might be left feeling that they don’t respect you.
Maybe you worry that you’ve raised a lazy person, that they won’t succeed in life if they can’t look after themselves.
But realise that your child is still learning and their brain is still developing.
You might just focus on the fact that, actually, your child is very creative and that you can help your child learn to take care of their environment.
It might just be another chance to bond with them while you’re doing so.
What’s the secret to living a happy life?
The key to a happy life is to train your mind to attach a positive meaning to life situations.
To see the situation for what it is without thinking the thoughts that create self-torture.
I encourage you not to accept the first meaning your mind gives you as the truth.
Instead challenge it and look for a better feeling.
Look at the things that are currently upsetting you and find the thought that is causing the upset and then change that thought.
This concept is simple, but not necessarily easy. But there’s a lot of books out there to read on the topic and also people who are able to help.
Yvette Cirule is a workshop leader in Aberdeen. You can find out more about her work here.