Without realising it, many of our thought habits get in the way of our happiness and cause us to get stuck into negative patterns of thinking. Below we will look at 13 ways we can rewire our thoughts and minds into allowing ourselves to feel the happiness that we deserve, freeing us to live, love and be happy. We will look at how we can liberate ourselves from those thoughts and mental habits that hold us back and hold us down, we will look forward to a better, happier and more positive new us. Follow this advice and not only will you feel better but those around you will too, after all, only a lit candle can light other candles.
1. Let go of your complaining
Throughout the day we could potentially find countless things to complain about, the weather, the traffic, the service we got at a restaurant but how does this constant whinging make things any better for us? Does it make things better for us? Does is make us happier? Or does it just put a downer on our mood and make us feel unhappy, low and depressed? Our mood is in our hands, we can choose to react to any situation however we want, we can allow ourselves to sucked into a negative state of mind or we can rise above that and be happy despite the traffic!
“Tell the negativity committee that meets inside your head to sit down and shut up.” Martin Seligman
2. Let go of having to always be right.
Many of us struggle with the even the thought of being wrong and will go as far as falling out with dear friends or loved ones solely for the sake of being right. Letting go of this habit will lead to better relationships for all. A sense of serenity in knowing that even though you may have been right, you’ve saved yourself and those around you a great deal of stress, worry and tension in not having to be right or have the last word. Wayne Dyer wrote “Would I rather be right or would I rather be kind?” Think about that next time you find yourself fighting this habit!
3. Let go of any self defeating ideas
Most of the hurdles we face in life are actually ones that we have concocted up in our minds, they are imaginary, unreal and they are what prevent us from moving forward, not our actual circumstances. These imaginary hurdles warp our ideas about what we can and cannot do, what is and what is not possible. We need to learn to see through these hurdles. Then we will be ready to spread our wings and fly!
An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you – Goi Nasu
4. Let go of your fears
What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? Our fears are unfortunately hindrances that we create for ourselves. Imagine all those hindrances had vanished, how would you feel? Close your eyes and imagine that for just a moment. Feel good? Now try living that way.
Being kind to yourself in thoughts, words and actions is as important as being kind to others.
5. Let go of attachment
Attachments create an atmosphere of fear. You are not reliant on things and allowing yourself to think you are will prevent you from being happy.
6. Let go of making criticism
Refrain from criticising anything and everything that you don’t understand. We are all different and that’s what makes life beautiful; what a boring place this would be if we were all the same. Allow people and things to be different, don’t see difference as an excuse to criticise. We all want to be happy, let’s allow ourselves to be happy and lets allow others to be happy.
7. Let go of blaming
Stop trying to find reasons for why things are what they are, in looking to explain things away we often try and find fault in something or someone, this negativity harms those around us, but more than anyone else, it harms us!
8. Let go of trying to impress other people
There are so many more important things in life than worrying what someone thinks of our shoes, what you do for a living or the car you drive. These things are not that are going to nurture healthy relationships. What people want from you is to be real, to be yourself, when you drop all pretences you’ll realise that people appreciate you for who you are and you’ll find your relationships are now stronger and deeper.
9. Let go of your excuses
Sometimes we get into the habit of making excuses for the sake of making excuses. We have all the time, resources and energy that we will ever have. We need to take advantage of our youth, good health, wealth, free time and most of all, our lives while we have them!
10. Let go of trying to always control
Situations, events, people; as much as we may try, much of what happens around us cannot be controlled by us and so we must spare ourselves the hassle of trying to think that it can. Let everyone and everything around you just be and you will feel much more relaxed and happier.
11. Let go of the past
Keep things in perspective, never dwelling on the past or being anxious about the future, rather enjoying these precious everyday moments. Today is all you have. Tomorrow has not been promised to you and yesterday has passed you by. So be present in all that you do. Remember, these are the good old days, happiness is not something you can postpone for the future.
12. Let go of resisting change
Every life process entails change. As human beings we often enjoy familiarity and once we become comfortable we become resistant to change. But very little lasts forever and so we have to alway be ready for change, that doesn’t mean we fear it, rather we embrace it whenever it comes knocking at our door, we welcome it in and see it as opportunity, opportunity for something new and better.
13. Let go of living life to other people’s expectations
Too much of our lives is spent trying to fit into social archetypes. We allow the expectations of others determine the job we do, the car we drive, the clothes we wear and much more! How much happier would we be if instead we followed our hearts and did things the way we wanted to do them. We allow our loved ones to dictate to us, our parents, siblings, partners and often we allow influences such as the media or government to dictate to us how we live our lives. We are all talented individuals, we all have something to offer, something unique. Each one of us is gifted. We need to nurture our talents and gifts and contribute through doing what we do best, doing what we love, rather than doing what we think is expected of us.