The true purpose of our life is to be happy. Now does it means that I should go out there and do whatever makes me happy even if that means drinking alcohol, smoking, eating fast food or harming some one. No, not at all. And there comes the concept of ‘connection of happiness’. We associate happiness with a lot of things and many times they are not right. For example eating sweets to make ourselves happy when we are sad or drinking alcohol to get over some one. These are the associations that we train our brain with for years of practice.
Stop right there and list all such habits that deep inside you know are not good for you. This will not stop you from doing it but awareness is the first step. Until unless we accept that any habit is not good for us, we are not going to leave it. So it is the choice that we need to make first to know what are the things that we are doing are not good for us. Its like doing the diagnosis of a disease, only then it can be cured.
Step 2 is to decide that you want to change the connection of happiness from wrong habits to healthy and right habits. Also you are the one who is supposed to define right or wrong as for some one it can be for a run every time they get sad and for another it might be meeting a friend and talk about it. Its also a matter of convenience and available options. So it is important to give your self some options before strictly adhering to the new habits. Most of the times we do not stick to the new habits because we assume there is only one choice and if we can’t stick to it then we are a failure and we get even more sad and end up returning back to the old habits to be happy. To get out of this loop we need to give ourselves rating from 10 to 1 and 1 means that we at least tried and this way we never are a failure and its just a matter of getting more or less points. Remember that while deciding to change the connection of happiness from the bad habits to good habits we are actually choosing a path and once we choose a path then we are no longer on the old way. I would suggest start visualizing this and then you would feel it is so easy to follow.
Step 3 is practicing the new habits consciously. Any habit takes time to form therefore replacing a habit also takes a cycle. Our brain is very powerful but its like like wild horse that is jumping around all the time and its hard to train it. We need to understand that its our asset that we need to take care of and our baby that we need to nurture as well. Do not be harsh on yourself and have patience in teaching your brain the right things. Take time and be patient, the more gentle you would be the more calm the brain will become. The more strict you will treat it, the more wilder it will start behaving. Practice every day in the morning or what ever time suits you to calm down and tell your brain the right things. Tell stories to yourself just like we used to do in our childhood (reading loud) and believe me it works and it works very well.
I will share more insight into this as we move forward. I am also just practicing these things as you are reading this. So there is a lot to come. Be happy with the right connection!