Feelings: Our Thoughts Create Them
What You Think Or What You Feel?
I have always been in pursuit of peace of mind and some occasional, if not constant, happiness. The last few years I realize that I have finally attained both. Getting here was not simple. For me, learning life's lessons seldom has been. A friend gave me a book called As a Man Thinketh many years ago. That small book by James Allen, sold at so many checkout stations and impulse item shelves, changed my life as it has that of many others. I thought it was the answer, and it was -- up to a certain point.
Through reading many, many articles, books, etc., about energy and even quantum physics -- I understood every third word -- I realized that what attracts energy, "good" and "bad," to us is not what we think but what we feel. Of course, what we think creates much of what we feel, so the two are undeniably connected, but I believe it's also important to realize what the goal of "right" thinking is: happiness, peace of mind, "feeling good" and, through that "feeling good" energy, attracting positive things in our everyday lives.
Creatures of the Lake: Finding Happiness in Nature
Nature and Joy
Environment has a lot to do with happiness and contentment, I believe. My husband and I both love nature and we both love to fish, which I sometimes think is simply a way to wander about in a boat with an excuse for doing so! We often fish in the Felsenthal Wildlife Refuge near our cabin in Arkansas. I feel a remarkable sense of serenity and peace gliding through the water in our boat. I have begun to notice that after one of those experiences, good things seem to happen. I'm talking about beneficial things for both of us. After one such trip, our rent house, which had sat vacant for a period of time, was rented and has stayed rented ever since. After another, we learned that a health scare for one of us was a false alarm. Coincidence? Perhaps. I don't think so, though.
I have begun to keep a "diary" of sorts of my feelings, noting days when I'm cranky, sad and out of sorts and days when I feel good. Usually they come in threes and fours and most often they are followed by the occurrence of events that match the mood I was in. After keeping track for a couple of years, I truly don't believe it's coincidence. Seeing in my own handwriting a series of blah days followed by an expensive home or auto repair or something else equally annoying has made me a believer. I also value the times when, after a period of happiness and good times, an unexpected check, a bonus, a windfall, etc., appears.
Looking Back with a Different Perspective
All of us, even the most disciplined, sometimes get lost in the past. We know we have no business there, yet we are determined to make that journey now and then. This was at one time, something that could always ruin my day, bring me down, dampen my spirits. Then a woman I saw professionally through her astrology practice told me something I had never considered. She suggested that I look back at my past and find good memories. We all have them, even the most troubled past has happy times and mine was certainly not terribly troubled. She told me to try substituting the memories that made me sad, angry, frustrated, etc., with the good ones. This wasn't an easy exercise. At first, it just didn't work, largely because I forgot the good memories when I needed them! Then I jotted down a few times that I enjoyed thinking of and any time the door to the past opened, I would grab my list and go to one of those times. And it worked. I've done it for so long that it's become second nature now. One of my favorite memories is of coming back from a family cottage at a lakeside resort near our home and remembering that oftentimes my dad would stop and buy two quarts of ice cream and cut them in half, keeping two for my mom and him and giving two to my sister and me. I remember eating the ice cream and being happy. I revisit those days often.
Try replacing your unhappy memories with happy ones. It works and it creates more good feelings.
Music: A Bird's Song or a Classic May Bring Good Feelings
I work as a proofreader and editor for court reporters. When I proofread, I often wear headphones and listen to instrumental music. In the process of working and listening to music, I have learned that certain music has a definite effect on my emotional state. Certain music makes me happy and peaceful. I have finally begun, in just the last few months, to write down the particular pieces that make me feel good. I don't know how to explain why certain types of music uplift my spirits, and I'm sure what is uplifting to me might be aggravating and annoying to you. However, I believe all of us can find music that lifts us up if we experiment. I think it's important.
What we read and watch on television matters also. Learning to be more discerning about what we watch and read makes our chances for peace and happiness increase.
No More Cloudy Skys: We'll All Eventually Get There
The Hard Stuff, for Me
This is the hard part for me. What we eat has a tremendous amount to do with how we feel. I am trying to be more disciplined with what I put in my body and am doing better, but I still fail often. I eat too much and I eat the wrong things. Again, when I make notes in my "feelings" notebook, the days when I am cranky are ordinarily days when I'm eating anything I feel like putting in my mouth instead of what I know I should eat. I have found especially that carbonated drinks and foods with large amounts of salt make me feel bad at some point after I drink/eat them. Be aware of what you eat. You don't have to become obsessive about it. Just beware of how much salt and preservatives you put in your body. We all know what is good for us; it's eating it that is the problem. This is where I am weak and often fail, but I continue to work on it and hopefully will eventually conquer this aspect of feeling good.
To summarize, be aware of what you think. Be aware of "how" you visit the past. Find music that lifts your spirits. When you watch TV and read, read or watch what is uplifting and happy. Eat what is good for you and makes you feel good. And raise your vibrations! How you feel creates your life.