This morning, during my normal meditation session, I was meditating on the phrase “The mind controls happiness and unhappiness.” Through the four minutes of meditation that I spent on this, I came to the conclusion that this is mostly true. While there are hormonal fluctuations that affect our moods, we are generally in charge of our own happiness. Ultimately, it comes down to ourselves.
We can’t control what happens in life and affects us, but we can control how we react to it.
I’m not saying we should always be happy. That wouldn’t be healthy. There are things we have to react negatively to in order to deal with them, or process them, or fix the future instances of them. There are times we have to be sad so that we can be happy later. And if you’re feeling inexplicably sad or overwhelmed, there’s a reason. Identifying that reason is important, because maybe you’re just overwhelmed with school or work and need to learn to manage your time better or delegate to others, but maybe you have a hormonal imbalance or a mental illness, and should see a therapist. There’s no shame in seeking help. (In fact, it’s rather brave).
In the interest of deciding my own happiness – especially given that I’m adjusting to grad school and having some serious growing pains – I’m posting some things that make me happy. (This is partially inspired by Caitlyn’s happiness post at ChemGradBoom).
Colorful jeggings. Slow mornings with breakfast and chatting with my mom. Long walks with my dog. Farmer’s markets. Learning to crochet and making hats. Free books at the library book sale. For that matter free books from the library. The sudden dip in temperature here in Missouri. Cool days and sweatshirts.
The closeup mode on my camera. Taking pictures of our flowers all around the property. Driving down the highway at night with my dog, wind sliding in through the open window, open starlight ahead of us. Baby rabbits running across my backyard. Learning about bear biology. Researching copyright law and fair use.
Yoga and meditation. Shopping for new watches, sweaters, and coats. Watching new episodes of Gravity Falls. The start of new seasons of my favorite TV shows. Murder mystery books. Cuddling up in my oversized cardigans. Snuggling with my dog at night. Saving up for a new camera. My Internet in Education class.
For meditation, I use the Buddhist Meditation Trainer app. I’ve only been using it for a couple of days, but so far so good. In the comments, tell me what makes you happy.