As I’m sure you’re well aware, our minds are amazing tools. In humans, we’ve been able to use our minds to understand how earth began millions of years ago, build space shuttles that can take us to the moon and understand the most complex of mathematical problems.
Without our mind we wouldn’t be able to survive. However, there are some aspects to our mind that aren’t so beneficial. As a race, our minds have led to the deaths of millions of people around the world. And many people are so depressed, and in so much pain, that they feel the only way out is suicide.
Before you think this is going to be a negative post, don’t worry. It isn’t. My aim today is to help you see how our mind is often simply a filter to how we view the world, and that we have the power to change our outlook on all situations. Hopefully, by the end of this post, you should have a better understand of how this works, and how you can use your own mind to create lasting happiness, positivity and joy inside yourself.
Your Mind is a Filter
Although this may be a tough concept to grasp, everything in the world is actually neutral. It is our minds that give meaning to certain situations, and it is this filter that causes us to react in certain events. For example, when I was in on an African Safari last year, all the staff at the lodge I was visiting were praying for rain. A lot of the animals were dying due to the harsh conditions of the environment. Thankfully, the rain came. However, I’m sure at the same time, there were hundreds if not thousands of men around the world cursing about the weather due to the fact that they couldn’t play golf that day.
To some the rain was life saving, to others it ‘ruined’ their day.
Our minds filter everything around us on a daily basis, we label, we judge and we go through emotions ranging from total joy to utter depression. This range of emotions can happen in a 24hr period, and often does.
Once you begin to understand your mind is a filter, you can learn to filter things to your own liking. You’ll begin to find that everything really is what we make of it, and you’ll reap the benefits for doing so.
Using Your Internal Filter
The followings steps are going to help you find the peace, happiness and positivity that I mentioned earlier.
1. Realize that you have a choice
For any of the following points to be effective, you first have to realize that you have a choice. Right at this moment, you have to decide whether you want to be happy and let go or keep negative emotions held up within you.
“That’s stupid, everyone wants to be happy”
You would be surprised. Many of us complain about our dead end jobs but never look for alternatives. We stress about the fact that we live from paycheck to paycheck but we don’t change our spending habits. We hold on to situations that happened years ago and still let them emotionally affect us today. Decide which end of the emotional scale you want to feel.
2. Accept Everything That Is
Based on my example earlier with the golfers hating the fact that there was rain, let me ask you something. How long do you think it affected them for, or in other words…how long do you think they held negative emotions such as anger or disappointment? For some I’m sure it didn’t last long, for others I’m sure it turned their into an unproductive, downward spiral.
How easier would it have been for them (and us) in any situation, if they just accepted what was. Just accept that it is raining and get on with their day. Acceptance is a beautiful thing because it allows you to instantly let go of any unfavorable emotions. You can’t change the fact that it’s raining, or someone insulted you, or you made a mistake. Take action where you can, but otherwise just accept what is.
There’s no reason to let the negativity that exists in your mind affect you for longer than the occurrence of the emotion itself. The easiest way to start accepting things is to live for the moment, focus on what is around you right now, if you must then focus on the future. Just don’t let the past keep a negative emotional hold on you.
3. Flip the Switch, Make Everything Positive
For some, the concept of acceptance isn’t going to be easy. I agree, accepting certain things can be a challenge, but with practice you can master the art. If you would like to try a different method, try focusing on making everything negative into a positive.
I once gave a mini-speech like that to an ex colleague who would often let little things get to her. The next day she came up to me and said “Guess what, I did it. I made something positive”. “Awesome”, I replied; then she continued.
“My brother took my car out again and I knew he would be driving it too fast as usual, I was just sitting at home, feeling so angry. Then I thought about what you said and just thought about the fact that it’s only a car, he’s safe and he’s using it to be able to get things done”.
After I spoke to her about taking the positive out of everything, she’s been happier ever since.
4. Use EFT to ‘Re-program’ Your Feelings
I’ve been using EFT a lot recently and I’ve had some great results. EFT, which stands for Emotional Freedom Technique, is about tapping certain energy points of your body, while speaking out loud about negative things on your mind. What this does is start to relax your body and relax your emotions and auto-response over this initially negative feeling.
To ‘EFT’ on your negative emotions, first bring one to mind. Write down a number from 0 to 10 about how negatively this emotion or feeling is affecting you. Now, you need to start repeating this problem out loud (I’m overweight, I’m shy, I’m inadequate, etc.) while tapping on certain points of your body. Those points are:
- Your collar bone
- The side of your hand
- The top of your head
- Your temple
- The point between your nose and your top lip
- Your Chin
There are others but those are some of the main ones. For a video demonstration of this click here. I know it’s likely that you’ll be sceptical of this at first if you haven’t used it, but give it a try and I think you’ll be amazed at the results. Write down the score again and it’s likely that your number is going to be lower. You can repeat the process for more effective results.
If you have any questions about any of the steps here then feel free to ask them in the comments and I’ll respond as best I can. Thanks to Peter for the opportunity to guest post; I hope this post helps your future become something that is filled with a lot more choice, happiness, and acceptance.