Therapy, EMDR sessions, and 12 step groups can produce major changes in your life. They can get you sober, past depression, help you with fears and anxiety, or even help you with your childhood trauma or PTSD symptoms.
But in the end they cannot always fix everything, nor are they guaranteed to make you start to feel happy.
Yes, your life will improve in amazing ways if you get sober or if you do some EMDR sessions to help you get past anxiety, low self-esteem, and PTSD.
But it is how we feel about the day to day things that can also really matter. Are you connected with those close to you? Are you present and experiencing all life has to offer?
And most importantly, are you genuinely happy?
The greatest thing you can do for yourself, your family, and your life is to make peace with the terms of your existence, no matter how good or how bad your circumstances.
In his book, Oneness with All Life, the amazing Eckhart Tolle makes the following 10 suggestions.
1) Don’t go out there looking for happiness-
“If you seek it, you won't find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness. Happiness is ever elusive, but freedom from unhappiness is attainable now, by facing what is rather than making up stories about it.”
2) Your thoughts are what’s really making you unhappy-
“Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral, which always is as it is. There is the situation or the fact, and here are my thoughts about it. Instead of making up stories, stay with the facts. For example, I am ruined is a story. It limits you and prevents you from taking effective action. I have 50 cents left in my bank account is a fact. Facing facts is always empowering.”
3) Stop that voice in your head the very moment it starts to complain-
“Recognize it for what it is: the voice of the ego, no more than a thought. Whenever you notice that voice, you will also realize that you are not the voice, but the one who is aware of it. In fact, you are the awareness that is aware of the voice. In the background, there is the awareness. In the foreground, there is the voice, the thinker. In this way you are becoming free of the ego, free of the unobserved mind.”
4) It is only in the present moment that happiness arises-
“Wherever you look, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence for the reality of time—a rotting apple, your face in the bathroom mirror compared with your face in a photo taken 30 years ago—yet you never find any direct evidence, you never experience time itself. You only ever experience the present moment.”
5) Stop creating your suffering-
“Why do anxiety, stress, or negativity arise? Because you turned away from the present moment. And why did you do that? You thought something else was more important. One small error, one misperception, creates a world of suffering.”
6) Don’t depend on what happens around you to allow yourself to be fully happy-
“People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness. They don't realize that what happens is the most unstable thing in the universe. It changes constantly. They look upon the present moment as either marred by something that has happened and shouldn't have or as deficient because of something that has not happened but should have. And so they miss the deeper perfection that is inherent in life itself, a perfection that lies beyond what is happening or not happening. Accept the present moment and find the perfection that is untouched by time.”
7) In relationships, don’t live in the past-
“The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be; otherwise, you will be forced to relive the past again and again.”
8) You are not your physical body-
“Equating the physical body with "I," the body that is destined to grow old, wither, and die, always leads to suffering. To refrain from identifying with the body doesn't mean that you no longer care for it. If it is strong, beautiful, or vigorous, you can appreciate those attributes—while they last. You can also improve the body's condition through nutrition and exercise. If you don't equate the body with who you are, when beauty fades, vigor diminishes, or the body becomes incapacitated, this will not affect your sense of worth or identity in any way. In fact, as the body begins to weaken, the light of consciousness can shine more easily.”
9) There is goodness and joy already thriving within you right now-
“You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you and allowing that goodness to emerge.”
10) Lastly, it’s all 100% up to you-
“If peace is really what you want, then you will choose peace.”
Please share with us, which one of these 10 seems to be the truest for you and your mental health problems?
For me it is #2, which states that it is your endless thoughts that are the thing really making you unhappy. I always feel like I struggle to stop all the negativity and self-expectation. I seem to almost never stop and smell the roses.