Now, Get Back Your Happiness
Some people are simply born with a happiness gene. They lead a happy life irrespective of their circumstances, whether they are materially successful or not;marry a loving partner or not;are healthy or ailing. The rest of us instinctively drift towards experiencing incompleteness, sadness and anxiety, as if we carry a dominant unhappiness gene within us.
Coined as an acronym "MOODS", here are five key symptoms of our unhappiness gene. Understanding these can be greatly helpful in working through our moments of anxiety and depression.
ME:- Me represents our self-centred instincts to make things personally. We are quick to judge our successes and failures, compliments and critique, and take then personally. Every untoward incident raises the question of why is it happening to me? Happiness lies grasping the law of nature and acknowledging that life is unfolding as it needs to and that every change in our circumstances is not a reflection of us. Also, nothing is happening uniquely to us---everyone has their share of challenges;it is how we react to them that makes the real difference.
OVERWHELMED:- Next is our tendency to get totally consumed by unpleasant events. Feeling anxious, we are often unable to isolate such events from the rest of our daily life;instead, we let them completely grip our psyche. Troubling issues at work overflow into our family time.
Dealing with this requires conscious efforts towards living in the present----compartmentalising different aspects of our life and not getting identified with any;realising that thoughts have the habit of amplifying the regrets of the past and fears about the future;becoming open to accepting the reality as it is and not pondering over how it should have been.
OBSESSIVE:- This is about our strong need to be perfect. It is an obsession that moulds our outlook at work, wit the family, towards diet and exercise, and even in our spiritual pursuits. Accordingly, our mind invariably looks out for what is not going well and that means there is always a sense of lack within.
We need to identify and attend to, our big priorities in life, rather than trying to be perfect with every single aspect. Further, building a deeper sense of gratitude far all the things that are going well for us supports us in feeling centered.
DO IT YOURSELF:- Another one is the preference to deal with problems on our own---a kind of DIY approach. When faced with a setback, many of us habitually retreat into a shell to work through our problems. Not seeking help also means brooding over problems longer. Sharing problems with others lightens our load and creates possibilities for new solutions to emerge. This demands a greater willingness to be vulnerable though. Trying it with people you trust offers a suitable starting point.
SET IN STONE:- Finally, the unhappiness gene relates to our conditioned belief that the impact of any negative events would last forever;that there is a certain permanency to the unfavorable aspects of our life.
Clearly, this thought process overlooks the reality that nothing is permanent. Favourable and unfavourable events come and go in our life with the regularity of four seasons. Life is a journey of experiences and every setback is indeed a new experience for greater learning and growth. As we create positive beliefs around our setbacks, we feel more empowered and experience greater equanimity.