It is said that emotional pain only lasts for 10 to 20 minutes, and that any further thoughts focused on that source of pain is a form of self-infliction that only makes things worse. This way of thinking is what keeps some people constantly wallowed in misery. There are a lot of miserable people walking the face of the Earth. They look miserable, do miserable things and think miserable thoughts. To make matters worse, their main motivation for existing seems to be this relentless pursuit to find someone, anyone, to accompany them in their throes of misery. Everyone knows the saying: Misery loves company. Sadly, what these people fail to realize is that they don’t have to be this way. Being this way is a conscious choice.
A person’s woes are all too often rooted in past events that happened in her/his life. The thing is everyone has a story to tell. There isn’t a person in the world that is immune to hardships. Bad things happen to people through no fault of their own while some are self-inflicted, but regardless of why or how they occurred, these things have happened. You can only reflect upon them. You can only learn from them. What you cannot do is go back and change them. What you cannot do is let these hardships dictate how you live your life. You cannot become a prisoner to your misery.
So how does one become free of her/his misery? It’s simple. Starve it. Misery cannot be sustained on its own. It needs to be fed. The more negative thoughts you have and actions you engage in, the more it thrives and the more miserable you feel. It becomes this vicious cycle that can consume your entire being if you are not careful. Don’t focus on what has gone wrong in your past or what could go wrong in your future. Don’t even focus on what is going wrong now. Instead, shift your focus from what’s happening around you and direct it towards what’s happening inside of you, in this exact moment. Think about what makes you feel good, right now. Think about what gives you pleasure, right now. Think about what’s going right in your life, right now. Reject the misery of the past along with the anxieties of the future. Don’t let your thoughts control you. Instead, learn to control your thoughts. Choose to be happy, right now.
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