If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts, happiness follows them like a never-departing shadow. –The Buddha
When we are children, we feel we can reach for the stars, and our dreams of becoming astronauts, presidents, or even kings are as tangible as ever. Reality is a cruel dame who takes every chance to rip the dreamy gloss off of life and make us swallow a bitter pill of reality. Suffering and happiness are optional, and we are gobsmacked by the fact that some people let go of the chance to fully pursue the latter and thrive on the negativity.
Preston Ni is a life coach who published a book called How to Let Go of Negative Thoughts and Emotions, where he explains the different ways we sabotage our happiness. By changing these eight thoughts, we swiftly realize that life is not easy and the attitude we take while facing each obstacle is essential in the pursuit for happiness.
This refers to all the times you told yourself and others, “No, I can’t do that,” “I’m not good enough,” and “I don’t have what it takes.” Denying your capacity and belittling yourself is not a good road to take. You must be open to the possibility, and you must embrace the fact that many beginnings are difficult and that failure is imminent. This is not a pep talk; simply it is you having a level-headed approach to your wants and desires, and working to get there.
Glass Half Empty
You can either look at things in a positive or negative light. According to Ni, looking at things negatively immediately draws you back into your pessimistic cycle. If you are stuck in traffic, stop the thundercloud in its track by listening to your favorite songs. If something goes sideways, don’t put the blame on others or go about lamenting it ever happened; instead, pinpoint your mistakes and find a starting point to improve. Changing the way you see life will make you realize that seeing things in a positive light will make a difference between a good day and a bad one.
The Grass is Greener on the Other Side
Yes, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire; Arthur Rimbaud changed the world before he turned 19, and Elon Musk has had a hand in shaping companies like Tesla Motors, PayPal, and SpaceX, and he’s barely over 40. Comparing yourself to other people is a pointless exercise and a one-way ticket to depression. Leaving behind these comparisons will free you from unnecessary stress, anxiety, depression, and defeatist attitudes.
Living in the Past
There are things to be learnt from the past, but you must avoid living in it. What matters is the present and the actions that take you to the future. Past defeats teach you what not to do and to try again, but this means you have to do a really difficult thing: accept defeat and move on. Having a toxic relationship with the past is self-destructive. –
Constantly Thinking about Difficult People
Thinking about your boss, teacher, awkward colleague, or even a difficult family member can ruin your day. Yes, there are people out there that have the uncanny ability to pull at your strings and make you fall apart. Their negative comments does not mean they are on the right; what matters here is that you don’t pay attention to what they say about you. According to Preston Ni, the key with such callous people is to change the way you act around them and to react and proact.
For Ni, blaming others immediately places you as the victim. By turning into this figure, you lose power over your actions, and every small problem becomes worse because you are unwilling to accept responsibility for your actions. Yes, feeling guilty will not make you instantly happy, but it will give the tools to take action and improve your outlook on life in the long run.
Unwilling to Forgive
Have you made a terrible mistake and you can’t find a way to fix it? Surely, we’ve all been there, but wallowing on it will make you unhappy. This doesn’t mean you completely forget, but accept the mistakes you did in the past, and you will have the willpower to face the future. Stop fighting it; it happened. Forgive and focus on what’s to come.
Fear is so powerful that it completely stops you from being happy. If you fear living, exploring, and learning, then it will be doubly hard to find your road to joy. Fear can paralyze you and put you on a passive state of alertness. It is time to slowly inch away from that fear and take small risks until finally you are ready to jump onto the greatest adventure life has in store for you. “We are human, not perfect,” Ni says. It is time we listen to Ni and start building that yellow brick road of happiness.