Want more happiness? You might need to change your thinking!

Want more happiness? You might need to change your thinking!

Shakespeare, via Hamlet, famously said "There is nothing either good or bad except thinking makes it so". 

For many decades now, Cogntiive Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy have lead the way in terms of effective interventions for psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety and stress. 

In short, unhelpful thinking exacerbates and maintains unpleasant emotions. 

More helpful, constructive thinking can alleviate distress and promote more positive emotions such as happiness. 

It goes without saying, given this, that the way we think is integral to the way we feel; so if you want to feel better you may well need to "think better". 

Keen to think your way to more happiness? Then read on…

by Susan Pearse via the Huffington Post

Have you ever met someone for the very first time and seconds later you cannot recall their name? Or maybe you have had the all too common experience of arriving in your garage with little recollection of the journey home. All these everyday common occurences indicate that the average person is spending a large portion of their lives lost in thought.

It's often been referred to as the monkey mind and many people can probably relate to the analogy of a playful child. The truth of the matter is that your brain loves to play. It is "on" every moment of the day. And if there is nothing entertaining in the outside environment it often resorts to playing indoors.

But what's it playing with? You might be surprised to know it's largely negative and useless thoughts. There are seven typical thoughts that commonly capture attention and steal it away from the important things in life.

1. What If's (or living in the future)

"What if" thinking sucks your attention down a dark hole. Your life experience shows that you cannot predict, control or anticipate the future. So why do you do it? Your brain is like a threat detecting machine constantly scanning the external environment for potential harm. The trap comes when you create stories around these potential threats in the mistaken belief that thinking about them will protect you from them. In fact it does the opposite. You can invest so much time and negative energy in something that is not even real. When you are inside your head planning a future you can't control, you have less attention to give to the things unfolding right in front of you.

2. Reruns (or stuck in the past)

Have you ever had a conversation that's just gone around and around in your head? The more you replay it, the more confused you get, the more you "see" in the conversation, the worse you feel. Punishing yourself and for what ? Something you can't change. Reflection is useful to learn the big lessons in life. Re-running becomes destructive when you keep going over things well after that lesson has been learnt. So many people find themselves stuck in the past. Going over and reliving something that they can't change and in the meantime depleting the attention that could be given to something that could create their future…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE