As you may have noticed, happiness is not the mind’s priority. It is far more interested in survival and creating familiarity than it is in happiness.
Happiness is something that we have to decide to experience and then learn what are the internal levers that act to become our personal happiness generators.
Happiness is an inside job. Period. End of story. It is truly a state of mind, and it is our responsibility as adults to finally get this then learn how to create states of mind that generate more happiness.
One of our tendencies as human beings is to look for (and often create) problems that we then try to solve. If there are no real problems, then we invent them. I was talking to a friend recently who said, “Everything is going so well, I’m worried about when something bad will happen!”
The mind generates problems even when there aren’t any. A mountain out of a molehill? You bet! And have you ever wondered why that mountain is virutally always a mountain of crap. Rarely, if ever, a mountain of love, joy, peace and abundance. Nooooo! Why is that?
The reason is our mind is programs to stay alert to a threat; it tends to keep our attention on what we don't want rather than on what we do want. Years ago when I was an Expressive Movement teacher, I mentored with Gabrielle Roth, the famous movement teacher and creator of the Five Rhythms method. I remember as we moved and whirled around in a large crowded roomful of about 60 people she said, “Look for the space in between people and keep moving into it!” As I did, I "saw" not people to run into but space to move through - lots and lots of space in what could have been perceived as a crowded room. (I have since used this when walking down crowded streets in big cities like New York and Chicago and it works great!)
So what happens if we intentionally shift our attention from where it just tends to want to go (toward the negative and finding problems) and really begin to notice the space (solution) that exists in between the "problems"? In other words, what is going on when you aren’t focused on what is wrong and instead focused on where what is right exists within the situation?
What is it like? What are you doing instead? For example, how are you looking at life and at other people? What is the first thing you notice about them? What do you notice about yourself? What does the voice in your head say? Notice the whole body experience of the space in between problems.
Start to notice what is good and right in yourself, your partner, and your relationship (and your life while you’re at it!!). And what are the things that you do that make you happy? Even the little things, like a cup of tea, a phone call with a friend, noticing the way the sunlight comes through your windows.
As we begin to bring our attention to these things we will generate an awareness of a perspective and the way we can look at things that has us feeling good or happy or content. We can then begin to intentionally, rather than accidentally, utilize this valuable information. As we intentionally do the things internally and externally that make us happier, we begin to generate a habit of happiness.