‘We are all only ever one thought away from happiness’
Have you ever wondered where low feelings come from; why some people are plagued by feelings of depression and unhappiness? What is interesting is the fact that all people create feelings in the same way, and we can all have low moods and depressed feelings, which means we can all have good feelings too.
Even people with diagnosed mental health problems have moments of clarity during any given day – this gives us a clue to the true nature of mental health. The question we could ask is: where is the mental health problem when the person experiences these moments of clarity? The clue we are given here is that each and every one of us has a default setting of psychological or mental health and well-being and when our thinking slows down, we return back to healthier and more comfortable feelings – so if our core is one of mental health and good feelings, where do we go wrong?
We are thinking our whole lives and some parts of our thinking we are more conscious or aware of than others. Those parts of our thinking that we are less aware of are sometimes called unconscious or even sub-conscious thinking, but it is still only thought. Thought that we are either aware of or not aware of – the root of thought is always the mind.
The secret lies in understanding the relationship, the perfect match or marriage between the power of Thought and our feelings and emotions. There is a very simple pathway that flows naturally together; feeling and thought arise in the same moment of consciousness, it may appear to be otherwise, but this is simply unconscious thought that makes it look as if feelings come unbidden and without thought. We simply cannot experience feelings and emotions that arise independent of our thinking. Another reason for this assumption that feelings are separate and come first could be that we are not always certain of what we have been thinking, but if asked we can often say how we feel, and we invariably act upon our emotions, and as Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: ‘The ancestor of every action is a thought’.
What is fascinating is that all feelings are neutral until we decide which ones we don’t like, and then label these as negative. We still have to have a thought to have any judgement about the value of a feeling in relation to our personal experience. When we start to see the relationship between thought and feeling, we begin to recognise that when our thinking is relaxed and has slowed down we enjoy life more, take our communication and relationships with others more lightly, become naturally more optimistic and are left with more compassionate and peaceful feelings.
Conversely if we start feeling low, unhappy and experiencing more negative emotions, this is a warning sign that our thinking is out of kilter, and that we are taking things and people more personally and more seriously. This may sometimes look like it is made manifest via the circumstances of our lives, but we can only be victims to our personal thinking about our circumstances, not the circumstances as they in themselves are neutral too.
Suffering comes from over-focusing on the very things we wish were not part of our lives and joy in our lives comes from a quiet mind and not thinking too much about the circumstances and issues that we believe are the cause of our suffering. To feel good all we need do is relax back into those more natural feeling without any effort at all, and to feel bad, requires much effort on our part to keep this illusory state alive in our minds.
Thus the primary state of being more relaxed and having less on our minds is the natural state for human beings and requires no effort whatsoever and leads naturally to feelings of joy, and the alternative state of less comfortable feelings, which requires much effort on our part is an incredibly effective illusion created via the power of Thought.