A simple mind trick that helped me feel happier
Last week I spent several days in a dark mood. I lacked, inspiration motivation and to a certain extent, hope.
I didn’t care about anything. I was truly apathetic.
The only emotion I felt I could honestly relate to and express was anger. Of course I held it inside for the most part but it was still there.
On day three of my seemingly never ending mood, as I cycled into work, I had one thought that helped relieve my depression.
It’s a simple mind trick that helped me feel happier.
It came to me as I thought about the recent passing of Meagan’s nan.
Her last few weeks were spent, getting slowly weaker in a hospital bed. When I last saw her, via Facetime, it took all her strength to say, “Hello”.
Apparently during the last few days she just wanted to go. She’d had enough.
For some reason, I imagined myself in my advanced years, in a similar predicament. Then I imagined being like that and looking back on my life as it is, right now.
With this perspective, I considered what I’d have said to myself, if I could have spoken to myself right now.
This is what I would say:
“You’ve got a lovely little family, you’re all healthy, you’ve got a decent job and you’ve got friends. You have nothing to worry about. Learn to enjoy it right now whilst you can because it won’t last forever”
My problem was overly focusing on issues that aren’t really that important. They may seem important to me in the short term but they’re not really that important in the grander scheme of things.
I find it so easy to let small issues, which aren’t going as well as I’d like, get the better of me in the moment. So much so that I forget a more realistic and relevant perspective exists.
All I was experiencing was the trough of one wave. There are many more to come, in fact there’s an ocean full of them.
So the mind trick that helped me feel happier and I hope works for you is this:
Think like an old person.
Be the old you, with a few days left on the planet and look at your position right now where you are today and assess what your problems really are.
I guarantee they won’t seem as big as they seemed.
It also turns out that what we believe makes us happier, changes as we get older. I just read this great article, “What Makes Older People Happy by Judith Graham”.
This is an extract:
“When we’re young and believe we have a long future ahead, we prefer extraordinary experiences outside the realm of our day-to-day routines.
But when we’re older and believe that our time is limited, we put more value on ordinary experiences, the stuff of which our daily lives are made”.
Which perspective is more sustainable and essentially more wise?