I have forgotten who said this, but it is so true. “Happiness is an inside job.”
To explain this, please nod your head if you talk to yourself….. And everyone who isn’t nodding is thinking, “Do I talk to myself? I’m not sure. Maybe I do.”
Yes! We talk to ourselves All The Time!
We comment on what we are doing. On what we have done. What we want to do. On what others have done…. you get the idea. Our internal dialogue runs in our head all day long. Sometimes it’s loud. Sometimes it’s more quiet. But it’s always there.
So here is your challenge: Listen to yourself.
As you listen, don’t worry if you are startled or embarrassed by what you hear. You’re not alone. We have all had that feeling. “How did this “junk” take up residence in my head?”
Then what do we do?
Here is the one simple way to increase your happiness: Change Your Internal Dialogue. Dump that junk.
But how do you do that? There are two easy ways:
- Look for something positive in the situation.
- Assume the best about the other person.
First, Look for the positive. Yep, it takes some effort in the beginning. Then it becomes a delightful habit.
Here’s an example: A friend and her husband were washing the tons of dishes after a holiday feast. Grumble, grumble. “I hate doing dishes. There are too many dirty dishes. This stinks!” But then they decided to look for a “positive”. She said, “Isn’t it wonderful that we own so many lovely dishes?” Her husband replied: “What abundance we have! We filled all these dishes with delicious food.” That shift to the positive made the clean up a lot more pleasant.
Here’s an example from today:
My “nearly one” granddaughter managed to get around the end table. Before I could reach it, there went my coffee cup. Grumble, grumble as I cleaned up the spill. But then I heard myself. I decided to dump the junk and look for positives.
“Lucky that she didn’t spill any coffee on her. Thank goodness the coffee was cool, too. She is so bright and quick. I’ll remember to hold my coffee cup next time.” Oh, my gosh, this stuff works! Clean up was a breeze.
You can have fun looking for the positive – even be outrageous. “I’m going to invent a coffee cup that elevates out of a baby’s reach.” 🙂
Life’s more fun when we look for the positive.
Now for the second one: Assume the best about the other person.
First, yes, there are people that do not have your best interest at heart. I’m not talking about them. In fact, I recommend you stay as far away from them as possible. I am talking about your friends and family.
Let’s say your husband is giving you “driving tips”. “He’s always telling me what to do.” “He thinks I can’t drive!” are the kind of thoughts guaranteed to make you ready to fight. But before you respond, why not try assuming the best. “Our life is so great, he wants it to last. He wants me, not my life insurance.” “That’s how he shows how much he loves me.”
Here’s another. Your wife asks you about something you said you would do. It hasn’t been done. Sure, it’s easy to get defensive if you’re telling yourself she is “running your life” or “calling you lazy”. Do you want to do that? Instead, assume the best. “She’s checking to see when it will be done.” or “She knows how crazy busy it’s been, and is kind enough to remind me.” That mental shift makes your relationships a lot better – much happier.
We can only give what we have – and we get to create what we have inside us by our thoughts. Now you know how to make yourself much happier. You’ll even help those around feel happier as you share yours. So when you feel the grumble, grumble coming on, Look for the positive, and Assume the best about the other person. And notice how much happier you feel every single day!