Almost every person on this planet could be happy, if they really wanted to be. The biggest barrier is internal belief, the thought system that we all carry around in our head. Most unhappy people believe, way down inside where it counts, that they are destined to be unhappy and that worry and depression are “correct” for them. Why? Because they were trained to be unhappy by all the people who raised them, and by most of the circumstances of their childhood.
Bottom line for you… you can become much happier if you want to. You have it in your power. But you have to work at it. You have to undertake a long term project that requires time, energy, attention and commitment. But the payoff is huge. You learn to have a positive attitude, peace of mind and serenity in your life, even under adverse circumstance. It’s worth it.
I’ve been a psychotherapist and hypnotherapist for many, many years now. I have worked with a lot of people and have helped them become happier. Here’s what I have learned about the seven steps to happiness:
First, you must really want to become a happy person. You have been on this planet for a while, and you are pretty familiar with who you are. You know what you like and what you don’t, you have a personality which means a fairly predictable way of reacting, and you are comfortable with who you are. For the most part. Change is a threat. It makes you uneasy. So you have to make a decision; a decision to try new ways of doing and thinking, and to override your innate conservatism and hesitation. Not easy, but worth it.
Second step is to accept the belief that it is possible for you to be happy.
This involves a change in your subconscious mind, that part of your mind that is ordinarily outside your awareness. It involves a total reversal of everything you were taught as a young child about yourself, your life, what is correct for you, and your future. It’s an epiphany, an opening of your soul. Possible triggers are long term psychotherapy, a traumatic event in your life, a religious awakening, or possible part of your natural maturing. This awareness can also come to you through mediation, and especially guided meditation recordings.
If you get this far, you have covered the most difficult part. You have made the conscious decision to become a happier person, and you have accepted the belief that this is possible for you. Congratulations!
Now we get down to business. The third step is to start exploring the ways to becoming a happy person. Read books on the subject, search the web, talk to friends, go into therapy, look for a teacher, learn Yoga, meditate, join a new and interesting organization, travel to a foreign country that is new to you, learn a new skill, go on a religious retreat. Try any number of things and find the one or two that are right for you.
The fourth step is to achieve success with one of the approaches that you try. Doesn’t have to be anything major. Just a perceptible improvement in your personal happiness. Maybe you wake up looking forward to the day ahead. Even if it happens only occasionally. Just enough to know that you are on the right track.
The fifth step is an important decision point. You now know that you have it within your power to become happier. Do you want to proceed? Or do you want to stay like you have been, which is probably,much more comfortable short term. Or do you want to strike out and embark on the path to true happiness? It’s up to you. I think that you already know what I would advise.
Six; commit to your path to happiness. Prepare a plan in writing and include a rough schedule. Set out the steps you will take. Review your plan a few times, then sign and date. Talk about your plan with a few trusted friends, your husband or wife, people really important to you. You have now committed to the path of happiness.
Seventh and last; start on the path you have set out for yourself. Take the time you need, change your course as you learn what works and what doesn’t. Be prepared for surprise. Become an adventurer in life!