How do you create your own happiness? And how do you create your own misery? How do you create your sense of calm? And how do you create your sense of frustration? How do you create joy? And how do you create anger?
You’re reading this and wondering, how you have the ability to create these emotions — these states — and you do. You have more power within you to create happiness, frustration, anger, and joy than any external factor does.
I’ve seen this with my one-to-one clients where they’ll tell me exactly how they create a state. They’ll tell me how they’re feeling, and I ask them, “How did you do that?” there’s a bit of a pause as thoughts of ‘What do you mean?’ run through their minds.
“So and so did this… and this happened… that happened… that’s how the anger and frustration came about…” This feels logical to us and, of course, external factors do play a role and contribute to how we feel. External factors don’t create what we’re feeling, though.
There’s a journey from the external reality occurring to that state of being within you. The journey is usually unconscious because it’s not something you consciously think about — ‘Oh, I’m going to get into an angry state now.’ Or, when you see an animal you’re fearful of, you don’t think, ‘Okay, yup! This is the time to feel fear…’ — right?
While you don’t consciously decide it’s time to get into a state, you do do it unconsciously.
Let’s do a quick exercise.
Think of or see in your mind’s eye a time in the recent past when you felt a positive state — joy, peace, calm, happiness or excitement. Take yourself back to that time — see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt in that time when you felt a positive state. Then ask yourself, “How did I create that state?” Separate whatever had occurred externally, and think internally. What did you say to yourself that led to that state? What were you focusing on that led to that state? What were you doing with your body that led to that state?
These ingredients — your focus, your thoughts, your physiology — are what you put in the proverbial ‘bowl’ that created the outcome of the state you experienced, and a shift to one will create a shift to your state.
Similar to when the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) advised a person who’s angry to sit down: “If one of you is angry while he is standing, let him sit down so his anger will leave him; otherwise, let him lie down.” A shift in the physiology of a person who’s angry changes one of the ingredients leading to the state of anger, which will result in a shift in their state and they’re less likely to act out of anger.
Getting curious about how you create states — positive and otherwise — and being aware of what’s internally leading to what you’re feeling puts you in an empowered position where you can make empowered decisions for yourself. This is something I invite you to explore today by asking yourself:
How do I create my own happiness, joy, and sense of calm?
Journal it and have fun exploring, and feel free to comment with what you discover.