The Best States of Mind
We all know it’s better to be happy than unhappy, positive than negative. But it doesn’t really work out that way all the time, not in most people’s reality.
Most people go through life being blown this way and that, seemingly at random, or by the ups and downs of events and relationships. We don’t stop to consider that we might have some degree of control over how we feel in life. Yet we do have control, much more than we think.
But to start let me make clear that I’m not talking about being a good person or a better person, nice though those qualities are. I’m talking about states of mind that make you feel happier, more relaxed, peaceful, and have a sense of loving your life. Similarly, I’m looking at us managing those emotions that make you feel unhappy at being alive in certain moments. Feelings that make us hate, despair, confused, angry, and more.
So what states of mind make us feel good inside, make us genuinely appear to others as happy, enthusiastic, content?
Calmness helps us feel good. A nice, clear mind does too. Feeling energetic but not hyper also makes us feel good inside ourselves. Two other ones are contentment, and inner peace (or peace of mind). These states of mind feel good inside ourselves. They also help us be positive with issues that happen, and with all the people we come across in our daily lives.
Now what are the worst states of mind, the ones that make you feel unhappiest or most miserable inside (and probably do the same to those around you!)? Anger, hatred, anxiety, depression, irritable, fatigued, resentful, regretful, are amongst the most likely ones. Don’t worry about memorising these or trying to find a full list online. You’ll know them when you feel them, now that you are more aware that such feelings can be noticed.
I think that ultimately the practice of mindfulness exists to give us the skills and the method to take our mind from any negative to a positive state. This isn’t easy. Life has a way of throwing difficulties our way, and our automatic mind just makes things worse with its tendency to over-react to every issue that arises.
But it is doable, and just takes regular practice.
So start to think of yourself as a person who is capable of developing and nurturing these best qualities of mind through mindfulness practices, and just as much, able to let go of negative states of mind whenever they arise in our daily lives.
All it takes is a moment’s awareness, acceptance of the negative mood, gentle movement of the mind from that mood to something more helpful, like the breath, like the body, like a good place or person in our memories, and many more than you will come across in the mindfulness practices we deliver every day on Facebook Live, or wherever you get guided practices.
We can all be much happier. We can all reprogramme our states of mind. Go to it.