If Happiness is a state of mind, then how do we train our mind, so that we are happy all the time?
The mind is like a factory, operating twenty-four hours a day, processing a myriad of thoughts, and senses every second. It slows down when we are asleep or when we are less active, but it is never shut.
The stream of thoughts – positive, negative and neutral ones, that enters our mind is endless. These thoughts invoke our feelings and emotions, causing us to feel and react accordingly and usually involuntarily. If the thoughts are positive we feel happy, loving, satisfied, contented…. But if the thoughts are negative we feel sad, angry, hateful, wretched…
When we talk of training the mind, we are actually talking about organizing our thoughts. We keep the positive, pleasant thoughts, and we discard the negative thoughts from our mind. It is when our mind are filled with positive thoughts only, that we are able to maintain tranquillity in our mind. That is when we have the mind under control.
Herein lies the problem. If the mind can be so easily ‘trained’ or controlled, there won’t be so many problems in the world today. Try it and see. You will understand what a mammoth task it is to calm and control the mind. The mind is like the tempestuous sea. Before one wave of thoughts have ceased, another has arisen.
Therefore, if we want to be happy, we have to be real people, honest with, and fair to ourselves. We have to understand that there will always be ups and downs in our life. There will always be moments of dissatisfaction, anguish, frustration and unpleasantness in life. And despite our best intentions not to let what’s going on around us ruffle us, we are still going to get swept along by the currents in our daily life. It is only natural.
However, once we realize what is happening, we have to snap out of it quickly, and do something about it. We alone are responsible for our well- being and happiness. We have to steer our mind away from unpleasant thoughts that are bothering us, and replace whatever negative thoughts that arises with positive ones. The choices and decisions we make will directly influence the quality of our days.
Until such time when we can control our mind with ease, we have to be vigilant, constantly keeping our thoughts in check. We have to constantly remind ourselves that happiness is a mental attitude. And if we can change our attitude, nothing can stop us from being happy. Remember, it is not the place, not the condition, but our mind alone that can make us happy or miserable.