The idea that you could feel good all the time seems like a total fantasy. We live in a culture that is obsessed with negative feelings and emotions. We believe in our collective misery so strongly that challenging the idea that you could feel blissful long-term is violently opposed. Life is just a miserable tragedy – that’s all there is to it.
But what if that view is wrong? What if life is something you could actually enjoy?
Just look at your own life. You can probably remember dozens of times where you felt fleetingly blissful. It didn’t last for long. You couldn’t keep hold of it, but it did happen.
Now think about all the people you’ve ever known. There’s almost certainly somebody among them who felt joyful all the time, no matter what was going on in their lives in the outside world. Yes – they’re different from you. But at least they proved that consistent happiness was a real possibility.
So what can you do to feel good all the time? How can you make progress?
Recognize That Your Thoughts Are Powerful
Thoughts bubble up out of the blue all the time. Your brain creates them like apple trees make apples or the tide creates foam. When they’re good, you hardly notice. When they’re bad, though, they can cause you an immense amount of suffering.
We’ve all been there. You start worrying about something and then you can’t get it out of your head. It goes around and around. If it lasts, it can make you feel stressed, prevent you from sleeping, and cause you to binge. In other words, it has real-world effects.
Once you understand that thoughts are powerful, you get the idea that you can do something about them. It’s not about fighting them, though – more letting go.
See That There’s A Difference Between Your Inside And Outside World
Many people think that external things like love, relationships, money, and sex will make them happy. And, for a while, many of these things do. But eventually, that same “baseline” level of happiness returns – whatever that is – and you feel exactly the same as you ever did.
Right now, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic it is becoming increasingly difficult to shut out the world. Everything seems so threatening, and many of us are so concerned that we have an infection that we get a private COVID test.
But to be content all the time, you have to bring your locus of control inward. You can’t control what happens to you or other people in the chaotic world. But you can choose how you respond to it. You don’t have to rely on external things to keep you propped up.
Choose Your Emotions
The final stage is to choose your emotions, instead of letting them choose you. People with sunny dispositions never rely on other people to make them happy. Instead, they create their sense of joy from within. That makes it sustainable and repeatable. That’s why it lasts for longer.