“Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are; it solely relies on what you think” ~Buddha
I think there can be little disagreement these days that our mental well-being is crucial to our health and happiness and that the state of our mind has a direct impact and influence on our social, emotional, and physical well-being as well as out psychological functioning. So, if we are what we think then how can we begin to develop healthy thought patterns and what are the options available to us that will facilitate this?
With a plethora of self help books and programs currently available, and more being released on a daily basis, how do we decide what’s right for us? It can be overwhelming and so with this in mind I thought I would try to simply this and bring it back to basics………….lets start with ABC!
A = Activating Event
For us to deal effectively with situations that can act as triggers we need to understand and identify what those triggers are. Once we are aware of this we can move onto………
B = Belief About Event
Over the years we will have built up a belief system around certain situations, in psychological terms this is a bit like a conditioned stimulus, conditioned response. So when we have A + B this will equal…………..
C = Consequences
Consequences refer to the feelings that occur as a consequence of our beliefs and in response to the activating event. The consequences can be in the form of stress, anxiety, depression, anger, irritability, aggression, fear, worry, and frustration etc.
So, if we can change our beliefs then we can change our thoughts and if we can change our thoughts we are on track to understanding what our friend the Buddha was talking about in the quote at the start of this article! If our beliefs influence our physical, emotional and psychological responses, and ultimately our overall well-being and happiness, then how can we work effectively in changing them from negative to positive?
One way of doing this is through CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and the ABC process I outlined above is one model of working taken from this. CBT helps to changing the way you think and behave and equips you to deal with situations in a more positive way. There’s not enough time to go into the process and benefits in detail in this article (there’s lots of information on-line or contact your GP if you feel this process would be of benefit to you) so lets take it back to basics once more and back to three little letters:
CBT = Cognitive Behavioural Therapy = A tool for transformation that will enable us to....
BTC = Be the Change = By taking ownership of our own emotional well-being we begin a process......
TBC = To be Continued = our journey begins and continues to unfold throughout our lives…………….
I wish you well on your own journey to finding happiness, in whatever form it takes and on whatever path you follow, and I leave you with this thought:
“Happiness, true happiness, is an inner quality. It is a state of mind. If your mind is at peace, you are happy. If your mind is at peace, but you have nothing else, you can be happy.” Dada Viswani