I am like you, I love a good happy ending
to stories, books, movies as much as the next person. The kind of feel-good endings where good triumphs evil, love conquers all, everyone finds a place where they belong.
We love happy endings because society tells us that’s how life should be: all joy and fun, peace and contentment, living happily ever after. But when you honestly reflect on your experiences so far in life, does that ring true for you?
This myth is one of the reason why we fall into the trap of struggling and fighting against our human experiences.
Our culture insists that happiness is the natural state for all human beings,
but statistics show otherwise with some sobering facts of
- one in ten adults will attempt to commit suicide, and
- one in five will suffer from depression. And that there is an
- almost 30% probability that you will suffer from a psychiatric disorder at some stage in your life.
Did those statistics surprise you? I know it definitely did for me when I first learned about them.
And when you add in all the misery caused by problems that are not classified as psychiatric disorders
such as divorce, loneliness, work stress/ burnout, money problems, relationship issue, lack of meaning in life, health conditions and so on you start to get the idea of just how rare 100% happiness all of the time is actually reality. Unfortunately, many often walk around believing that others are happy except for them, and of course curated images on social media doesn’t help with that.
So many self-help programs prescribe to this myth, that if you can somehow think more positively and repeatedly fill your head with optimism you will find happiness.
So instead of believing that you must feel happy all of the time, and you must get rid of all your negative feeling in order to create a happy life, I would like to propose the idea of the opposite for you.
The idea that there is no such thing as the perfect life, but this does not mean you cannot live a life full of meaning and vitality.
The thing is what we generally value in life bring with them a whole range of feelings both pleasant and unpleasant.
For example, in a parenting relationship with your child, although you will experience wonderful feelings such as love, joy, connection, you will inevitably experience disappointments, frustrations, and a whole range of other ‘negative’ feelings.
So as you can see, if you are not prepared to have some uncomfortable feelings you are likely to miss out on just about every meaningful project or role in life.
I hope by bringing your awareness to this exact reality, it will provide you with some relief and encourage some self compassion when you are going through challenging times.
Now if you are keen to find more about how to solve this habit our society created, then I will give you another powerful insight to the solution….
The solution is:
Knowing that your emotions do not control you!! WWWHAT? You may have wondered in disbelief, after all we have all been taught that emotions are why we do what we do. For example, if we are sad we cry, if we are afraid we run right?
I can tell you with 100% confidence that our emotions definitely do not control your behaviour. For example, you can feel angry but act calmly.
Although, you may have the tendency or the urge to shout or lash out physically or verbally but you don’t have to.
When we succumb to our urges in this way we have succumbed to our fight or flight reactions rather than acting in a skillful and mindful way.
However, to learn how to not allow our emotions control our behaviours, requires the skill of mindfulness psychology.
In mindfulness psychology you can learn to rewire your brain
so you can handle all those painful, unhelpful feelings and self-limiting beliefs more effective. You learn to do the following
- Relate to your thoughts in a new way, as you learn to unhook yourself from painful thoughts and emotions they will lose their ability to frighten, disturb, worry, stress, or depress you
- Make room for unpleasant feelings and sensations instead of suppressing them
- Connect with the present moment
- Discover that part of you that is powerful and unaffected
- Find what makes your life meaningful
- How to stay on the path of your journey, undettered
As you apply these principles in your life, both your physical and mental health will benefit as you rise above fear, doubt, insecurity; reduce stress and worry; break self-defeating habits; build more satisfying relationsihps; create a richer and more meaningful life.