Okay, brain in gear, I am seeking the holy grail!
Is it realistic to strive to be happy all the time? I don’t think so, but it is worth trying to find some kind of lasting peace within ourselves. Is it possible to find contentment?
A starting point might be to accept that life is made up of good and bad stuff. Can we maximise the good and minimise the bad?
First let’s consider the good stuff. I suggest that if we are in a “good” moment we need to appreciate it. Stop and fully savour that moment, realise how much you are enjoying the present. Whatever the circumstances we need to show gratitude. This could be a thought to ourselves or a comment to someone else.
I would like to give a recent personal example. A few weeks ago I entered a crown green bowling competition. I was drawn to play a lady called Mary ( sorry not a Wednesday!). As we started blue sky appeared for the first time that day and the sun began to shine. After playing for around 20 minutes I turned to Mary and said “You know this is beautiful, I could stay here all day.” She nodded in agreement. The experience was so relaxing- the brightness on the manicured green, a slight breeze and the low hum of voices from other competitors. I still clearly remember the occasion even though it happened several weeks ago. I was so grateful for what I was experiencing and that made it easy to show gratitude.
Now the bad stuff. As you know this can come in many forms. For example: Negative thoughts, uncomfortable emotions, or difficult relationships. From the research I have read it is important that any bad stuff is acknowledged. That requires a heightened self awareness. We then need to make a decision. Can this stuff be changed for the better? If you feel this is possible, try it. Support may be required to bring this about. If not, then we are left with acceptance.
We need to have self acceptance so we can accept everything about us. Strengths and weaknesses. This makes it easier to accept our mental health condition. Studies have shown this helps our well being in many different ways. For example we can:
1. Begin to make peace with the bad stuff.
2. Start to become more compassionate to ourselves and others.
3. Realise everything is transient. If you are suffering with the bad stuff it will not last forever. It will pass.
To summarise, what I am saying is that to make a start in finding more contentment in our lives we should be more aware of two things. Firstly maximise occasions where we can show gratitude. Secondly be more accepting of our mental health condition. This can be expressed as:
Gratitude + Acceptance = Contentment
What do you think?
A Moodscope member.
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