We all want to feel good. Over the years, I have never seen someone who truly wanted to feel bad, but only people who were too afraid to commit to feeling good. Yet one of the reasons why feeling good matters is that we are more creative and innovative when we are in a good state. It is wrong that we need unhappiness to push us to accomplish things. Feeling happy and content gives you the freedom to do things because you really want to do them, which makes the outcome greater. On the other hand, happiness should not depend on a particular accomplishment or action. It i something we need to build from the inside.
Feeling good may still be easier than we often think. It can start here in the present moment, right where you are. One does not have to travel far to experience this feeling, because wherever you go it will still be you who feels good or bad. Thus, how we truly feel does not depend directly on external circumstances. If it seems to be directly caused by an external event, it is only through the meaning and interpretations we attach to the event and what is being communicated during it. To be able to see the source of feeling good inside yourself makes you less dependent on outside events for your happiness. This takes some practice, but there are many tools, apart from psychotherapy and meditation, that can help you get in contact more with yourself. In fact, not being connected with ourselves really is an illusion we build to protect ourselves from ourselves. Once you can dispel this illusion you are not only closer to yourself, but also to the world, as you see yourself in the world and the world in you. Information and similarities connect us all, and to not only understand but also feel, improves greatly how we feel about ourselves and the world.
When we connect with ourselves and feel the essence of being oneself, we can feel very good. It may be difficult in the beginning, and the support of a psychotherapist can help when there are unresolved feelings or even pain that stands in the way of connecting with oneself. So, it is important not to rush it. The process of connecting with yourself itself should feel good. When you subtract anything that can be external, you are left with the essential sense of yourself. It is like hearing the whisper of the virtually infinite flows of meaningful information that take place within you. It is not thinking about something specific or a particular memory. It is merely experiencing the flow of information within and between the roughly 37 trillion cells within you.
An approach that often can also help to recenter, particularly when you are in complex situations with people with their own issues is what I call the ‘Forest Gump method’. Rather than getting lost in their unresolved inner worlds, you focus on what they say quite literally. If someone says, for example, ‘time flies’, and your mind goes to figuring out whether they mean you have not called in a long time, just say ‘Yes, it really does. Nice to catch up.’ This can accomplish two things. It will stop any dynamic that could potentially drag you (and the other person) down and it forces the other person to become clearer about their own issues and feelings they might have. Particularly in emotionally highly complex situations, where you feel drawn into a place without way signs, it can help to extricate yourself from the downward pull. Of course, this does not mean suppressing anything. It should just give you the space to take back a step and try to observe it from a greater distance and become clearer about your feelings. This may then allow both of you to talk about the real topics at hand, including the emotional side.
Our feelings are effected by outside events, but this always depends on how we interpret them. To be consciously aware of a feeling requires not only processing but also focus. You may be familiar with the notion that you can change how you feel by shifting your focus onto something else. But the focus is only the beginning. Once the thought train leaves the station it could run towards helpful constructive thoughts or into a spiral of worries. The difference is often that we may get caught up in details, and fears about them, that seem relevant, but are not if we connect with what is really meaningful and of true value to us. In some situations, acceptance can also free the mind to turn elsewhere. If I accept that a fact or situation is what it is, I can move on, and it will recede further and further into the distance in the the rear-view mirror. While it does not change, it becomes smaller to my field of vision, and my thoughts and feelings are progressively freed from it.
Feelings depend on how I view something, and a change in perspective can change how I feel. When I look at the same situation from a different angle, it often changes how I feel about it. In this context, there is no right or wrong way of looking at something as our mental life is entirely subjective anyway, and what you experience depends entirely on what goes on in your brain. So, to feel better it is important to not only look at changes you can make in the external world but also explore the many different ways of looking at something. And openness and flexibility can support you in accomplishing this. The goal is not to be a leaf in the wind that is blown here and there nor to not stop the wind, but to be like a bird that uses the wind to lift up higher and fly anywhere it chooses. If the notion of not knowing where the journey is going is difficult for you, look at the compass inside you, the things you value that are not going to change over a lifetime.
When one feels bad it may sound like an insurmountable challenge to feel good, but feelings depend only on the information in our minds. Overcoming the fear of committing to feeling good may be the hardest step, but everything else tends to flow from it naturally.
© 2021 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All Rights Reserved. For more articles, see www.askdrjonathan.com. To contact me, please see www.jonathanhaverkampf.com or www.jonathanhaverkampf.ie. I am also a guest on www.wordnets.com. These are just my thoughts. I may be wrong.