How to Use Mindfulness to Discover Happiness in Unhappy Situations.

If you hate this title, that is a good sign. Because a moment ago I was so sad, and stuck inside a thick black cloud. Yet I knew that the next moment was going to be better. This sense always points me to find the silver lining in every passing cloud.

In this blog post I will show you how to find the silver lining in three little steps.

“Happiness & unhappiness are twin sisters.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Happiness and sadness are like twin sisters, they depend on each other. The journey of life is not complete unless we live with both. Someone said happiness is like a phoenix coming out of ashes of sadness . Yet how do we find inspiration when we are inside the dark cloud of sadness?

It’s natural that endless chain of bad memories clog our mind when we are in a bad mood. The bills, credit card debts, negative remarks by a friend, even the bright sun looks dark. These dark thoughts build more bad emotions; dullness, sadness, anger, demotivation etc. Then they suck all our energy. We feel paralysed, imprisoned inside our own dark mind.

But, there is an art of survival through those clouds. Just imagine, since the day you were born, million times you have passed through dark clouds. It’s not that you don’t have the ability. At times we need a little help to define the art and refine the skill.

Here is how I manage through difficult moments.

In a nutshell it is a three step process:

  1. Recognise
  2. Learn to accept
  3. Observe the end, and say thank you.

Recognise: Cloud comes and occupy our mind without any warning. We easily lose our temper. Often we take bad decisions that ruin our entire life. So the first step is damage control. For that matter we need to recognise that we are in a bad mood. When we recognise, we are mindful and contain the proliferation of further bad thoughts.

Learn to accept: our natural first reaction is to get away from the cloud as fast as possible. We jump into our mobile phone, social media, coffee shop, or gossip, as a knee-jerk-reaction in order to escape. By doing so, more often than not we get further trapped inside the cloud.

Instead, we need to learn to accept that bad feeling, learn to live with dullness (I know it is tough, but we can do tough things for a moment), keep the anger to yourself (do not utter a word). Find a quiet place and let yourself settle down. Take a deep breath. If it is so intense, take a solitary walk into woods.

This is acceptance, it helps you avoid the potential wild-fire of negative emotions. It helps you to not do anything that you might regret later.

Observe the end: When we execute first two steps, the cloud loses its hidden killer energy, and it fades away. But our monkey mind is already busy holding onto the next thought & action. Thus we fail to recognise that we have passed the dark cloud.

Check out this short video three steps to transform bad feelings to positive feelings.

Try to reflect a bit, and remind yourself that you have passed the cloud, successfully. You made it through. Hurrah.! Congratulate yourself silently. Doing this empowers you, and makes you better prepared to harvest the silver lining, next time much faster.

We cant avoid dark clouds. But we can learn to harvest them. And to turn them into healthy compost (fertiliser) and cultivate seeds of happiness. I trust this kindness thought will make your next moment happier!

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