Think Happy. Be Content.
I remember during my second visit to the emergency room in 4 months due to a mysterious digestive issue, the nurse checking me in mentioned that she thought anxiety may be the cause of my visit. I thought, “What? How dare you! I never go to the doctor let alone emergency room unless I have to! ‘Anxiety?’ Puhleeze!!”
I was totally miffed, but I secretly wondered once I got back home if anxiety might be amplifying the very real symptoms I had. I wasn’t used to feeling bad, so the moment one of those dizzying or overall weak feelings hit me, internally I’d anticipate it going downhill.
I’d imagine me suddenly keeling over in the middle of Walmart while buying cat food. I’d watch Food Paradise, thinking that I’ll never again laugh and enjoy a crab spaghetti while drinking a fancy drink like those people on TV. (Like I ever did that when I felt well!)
Anxiety didn’t bring on my illness or symptoms, but I found that it was a factor in my feeling worse than I needed to.
You Mean Mind Control?
One of my favorite quotes is from the famous football coach, Lou Holtz:
“Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it.”
The older you get, I think the more you realize controlling what you focus on and whether you’re in a positive, negative, or anxious frame of mind can have a big impact on your happiness.
Think Happy is really the cornerstone that boosts all other areas of your happiness.
You can’t always control what happens in life, but you can control how much you let it get to you and how you respond.
If you get slighted by a family member at Thanksgiving you can hold on to that, stew about it, let it steal hours from you that you could’ve used on something else. OR…
You can take 10 minutes to run all those scenarios about telling so and so off in your head (after all we’re only human), then mentally let it float away on a stream, and move on to something happy.
The Power of Redirection
You have so much power in your hands (or head, actually) just by directing your thoughts. While I don’t believe in wishing yourself a winning lottery ticket, there is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy to thinking positive and having positive things happen.
Let’s talk about the power of redirection when it comes to changing a habit or quitting something like smoking.
I smoked off and on for a lot of the first half of my life. When I was trying to kick the habit for good, I had a lot of unsuccessful, “This is my last cigarette” moments. What would happen when I was trying to quit was, I would imagine smoking, what it felt like, my cup of coffee that I always paired with a ciggie. And the craving would over take me and I’d light up.
How did I finally quit for good? I stopped letting my mind wander. I took control, and when I was trying to quit and started thinking about how that cigarette felt, I would redirect my thoughts to something else. Like a hobby I was enjoying, a future goal, or an upcoming project like planing my son’s birthday party.
And the momentary craving would stop, because I redirected my thoughts to something positive every time. The farther away I got from that last day of smoking, the fainter the cravings became until they were gone completely.
Redirection can work with many things and can help you gain control of your thoughts and keep them on your side.
More on Think Happy coming soon.