This post is Part II of an offering on Happiness. What is it, really? How do we "achieve" it? Is it even something to be achieved?
I maintain that happiness is a habit, and one that we cultivate from the inside out. The more we practice this habit, the happier we are—in a long-lasting way. The problem is knowing how, which I address in m
If you missed Part I of this conversation, you can find it here.
Your Most Predominant Mind Pattern
Each of us has very specific ways in which our mind works. We have deeply embedded patterns, story lines, likely sourced in childhood events, that have become habituated ways of thinking—and they tend to run us. And they cause undue stress. AND they keep us from experiencing happiness!
For example, many women have “worry mind.” We incessantly mull over what might happen in the future to ourselves, or to our loved ones. Another pattern is “busy mind.” With the frenetic pace of our lives, this is not surprising. The faster we go, the busier our minds get. “Busy mind” can cause anxiety levels to escalate. Both of these mind patterns can be extremely debilitating, causing severe stress, culminating in poor health.
One of my predominant mind patterns is “planning mind.” Being a teacher by training and calling, I often find myself lost in thought, creating lesson plans for an online class I teach, blog posts, or simply planning out my life months ahead of time. I seem to think that allowing my mind to behave in this way will bring peace of mind. In reality, it often creates feelings of anxiousness or overwhelm.
What would be one of yours?
No matter which one you have you can work with it successfully. And please know this: there is no shame in having a particular “kind” of mind. It is simply a result of being human!
Use the “Stop, Look, Listen, and Feel” process with your predominant mind pattern too. Simply notice it, name it, and with the assistance of some deep breaths—let it go. Turn your attention to something else. In time, you can “rewire” your thinking to be less rigid, more flexible, workable.
Choice by choice, we can shift how we respond to our minds. We do not have to be run ragged by pesky thoughts or mind patterns. Infuse yourself with passion to be happier and you can. Take good care of your mind and I’m confident you’ll feel happier in no time—from the inside out!
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Janice Lynne Lundy, DMin
is an educator, interspiritual director/guide and retreat leader who has been pointing people back toward the Sacred for more than twenty years. She is the author of several spiritual growth books, including Your Truest Self, My Deepest Me and Portable Peace., and is the co-founder and director of the Spiritual Guidance Training Institute.