A good way to become more aware of yourself and your thoughts is realizing when you suffer because you don’t have ‘enough’. Let’s see if any of these thoughts resonate with you:
- “I need to make more money”
- “I want a nicer car”
- “I want a better place to live”
- “I deserve a better job”
- “Why does it always seem that other people get all the breaks?”
- “I wish my kids were more thoughtful and helpful”
Now I would like you to sit quietly for a moment and think about what bothers you … and now correlate how these irritants relate to what you are ‘wanting’. For example, you might be bothered by the fact that your best friend has more money and a nicer place to live than you – meaning that you basically desire what your friend has.
Now think about how this yearning and desire is actually bringing you down. It makes you suffer. It makes you feel inadequate.
‘Re-framing’ means to change your perspective. Changing how you think about something is entirely under your control (yes really, it is), even if the circumstances have not changed one bit.
In the above example, can you reframe your perspective to think “Actually, I live in a decent place, I like the location and I am content here. I could use more space but it’s actually OK. I have enough money to live comfortably and get to do most of the things I want to do. My friend is financially better off, but I’m doing just fine.” I personally would love to live in a bigger, better home, but the photos I share on this post are views from my residence. When I look out my window, my desire to move to a different place melts away. I receive so much joy from waking up and looking out my window every morning.
Although I am not a Buddhist (I do not follow any particular religion), the core Buddhist philosophies do resonate with me – their main philosophy about suffering and that we bring suffering upon ourselves is an intriguing one to consider, and speaks to the subject of this post. Here is a simple explanation of Buddhism if you are interested – see the ‘4 Noble Truths’ in particular.
I really think that setting your intention to think differently can profoundly change your life, and make you happier. It’s all about perspective and how you choose to think. Even when things may be tough in your life, think about what lessons you are learning, how you can re-frame your thoughts, and all the good things you can be thankful for. Please read my post about Gratitude.