Let’s discuss some more ways to take back our puppet strings from our puppeteers.

We have already discussed the need to take responsibility and do away with blaming, the necessity for a real desire to change, and the commitment to do what it takes to change and achieve happiness. Then we discussed the difference between principles and advice.

So what other principles guide us to happiness? What do the happy people in this world have over the unhappy ones? Is it genetic? Were they just born with that disposition? Some probably were, but most have learned this secret – this time tested principle... this secret that ANYONE can learn...

Here it is... Happiness is a choice.

“So if it is a choice,” you might ask, “then how do I choose it?” That’s what I would like to share with you because I was aimlessly floating around wondering the same thing for a long time. It’s like someone telling you to “get over” something without first listening to you and then showing you how to get over it.

Choosing happiness requires you to be MASTER over all of your emotions and thoughts instead of you being SLAVE to them and being ruled and controlled by them. How we go about doing that is to first recognize and become aware of our thoughts and emotions. Bring them to consciousness. Your thoughts and emotions are usually all tucked away in your subconscious mind and control what you do and say without you even being aware of it. What we must do is bring them to consciousness.

In order to bring them to consciousness, we must understand the thoughts and emotions order or sequence. Thoughts come first (and are usually based on previous experiences) and then they feed our emotions and then we act or react. Most people believe that it is the other way around – that their feelings come first and that they have no control over them and their thoughts. So whenever their emotions arise they simply react without even thinking twice. That’s just the problem – they don’t think twice. They don’t even know that they did think and so they react according to their emotions. Understanding this is key!

Once we have a knowledge of the thought/emotion order there is a trick that we can apply that all happy people have learned. We will discuss it next time...

But, for now, a good exercise is to:

1. Take note of each time that you don’t like something (ANYTHING you don’t like). Every time you feel yourself getting angry, frustrated or upset, etc. over something, stop yourself. Write down the event and your thoughts and feelings about it, what you wanted to do (be honest) and what you did.

2. Then choose not to think about it until you have calmed down. Choose instead to think about good things. Make a list of good things and keep it with you just for cases like these (keep adding to it). The key is to stop the rumination or negative thinking. Remember what I call the law of compounding: one negative thought leads to another negative thought and then it explodes out of control. On the other hand, one positive thought leads to another positive thought, and then it explodes….

3. After you are in a good frame of mind (it could be days later), see if you can identify your negative thoughts and replace them with better positive thoughts. Don’t get frustrated if you are struggling at first. Be patient with yourself. Practice makes perfect. It will come if you don’t give up.

Remember this sequence: Perception (Was the event indeed how you actually saw it?)…Thoughts…Feelings….Actions...Consequences

To learn more about identifying negative thinking errors and how to replace them visit my blog at www.empoweredreader.blogspot.com and stay tuned into our website www.empoweredreader.com for the upcoming Thinking Error E-course. It will change your life and how you see the world (if you let it.)

Author's Bio: 

Jennifer Abbott has been fascinated by psychology and the mind for as long as she can remember. She has spent a large part of her adult life studying the cognitive mind in both formal and informal education.

Abbott is a teacher of the principles that remove unhappiness, depression and addictions. Peace and a positive attitude is the outcome.

In her quest for answers to life’s questions she found many books that taught the power of the cognitive mind and how to reprogram it for good. She makes all the classics for personal growth available in one place at www.empoweredreader.com (online personal growth bookstore and coffee shop) and on her blog www.empoweredreader.blogspot.com discusses principles needed to achieve happiness.