I’m sure you’ve discovered by now, that happiness is not something we can FORCE. Happiness arises naturally when we’re in a state of contentment, acceptance and non-resistance with the world. But did you know, the opposite of Happiness is Sadness, NOT UNhappiness?
What is Sadness? Well, sadness is a natural response to a situation, a loss, a truth. Sad situations are unavoidable in life and like happiness we can’t force ourselves to feel sad. Like happiness, sadness is gentle and arises from WITHIN. It has a sense of peace, gentleness and non-resistance and ultimately passes on its own.
UNhappiness is different because we CAN and do create UNhappiness in ourselves. It’s created by our thoughts ABOUT our lives, situations and our experiences. UNhappiness comes from wishing things were different to how they are – what I call ‘fighting reality’. UNhappiness feels edgy, resisting, complaining and clinging – for as long as WE let it.
To be more content and happy in our lives we need to understand where we cause our own UNhappiness. Which is hard, because we’re taught and encouraged to focus on the ‘negatives’ – what we don’t have, what we don’t like, what we need to improve. We therefore naturally focus on ‘lack’ - creating UNhappiness when we resist life and wish things were different.
So, how to end UNhappiness? Well, next time you feel UNhappy – ask yourself:
- “Am I UNhappy or am I Sad?” You’ll know by whether you are feeling accepting, peaceful and natural (Sadness) or resisting, agitated, wishing things were different (UNhappiness)
NB. Whether you’re UNhappy or Sad, it’s essential that you allow what you’re feeling and do NOT judge. Have compassion for yourself no matter what the reasons behind your thoughts and emotions.
- Then, if you’re feeling Sad, be tender and kind to yourself. Imagine what a nurturing parent might say to you. Give yourself a mind-hug and in time the sadness will pass on its own.
- And if you’re feeling UNhappy ask, “Where am I taking myself away from happiness?” “What am I resisting – that I need to accept?” When you realise what you’re resisting AND let go of your expectations you’ll notice a shift. You may feel lighter, relieved. You may also notice you shift into feeling something else like sadness or disappointment.
So, the paradox is that sometimes, in order to release our UNhappiness, we need to feel what we’re really feeling underneath. Sometimes we need to grieve or feel sad or disappointed for a while – but it’s the avoiding of these feelings that keeps us stuck in UNhappiness.
Need a quick fix? Well, you can always distract yourself with something pleasurable; chocolate, shopping, a glass of wine, a cigarette - are all quick fixes, but remember the fix wears off when the pleasure wears off. Sometimes we need a fix to get us through our day, but watch that it does not become a habit to avoid how you feel – because using pleasure as a fix is the best way to stay UNhappy!
The Secret: Is kindness and practice! Don’t judge yourself whatever you’re feeling and WHATEVER the reason. Denying your thoughts and feelings or judging them can only lead straight back to UNhappiness – because you’re criticising and denying who you are!
Remember: Learning any skill takes practice. The more you observe your thoughts and feelings and learn to accept them, the easier it gets. This is how to be happy in life!
If you like this article about UNhappiness, you may also like:
- Meditation for Relaxation – 3 Practical Ways to Find Calm
- De-Stress Tips Series: 7 Ways to Reduce Stress in Your Life
- Why I’m Sick of Gratitude! And How It May Actually Be Bad For You!
and share with your friends and colleagues!