Understanding The Conscious Mind’s Role In Happiness

The conscious mind is a funny thing… it’s essentially a filter for the world around you, allowing you to concentrate your resources on a much smaller piece of, well, everything.  In spite of this, your conscious mind fools itself into thinking that it IS the whole thing, all of you.

In reality, there are at least three other major pieces of who you are:  your spirit (or subconscious, for the more scientifically minded), your body, and your emotions.  All four pieces are intertwined… a shift in any of them can produce a noticeable effect in any, or all, of the others.

Of these four, your spirit and your mind (the conscious part of it) are the strongest, with the other two often being used to send messages between them.  When the spirit and mind are in disagreement, the other two can become chaotic, causing pain and distress.

You can see this when the path you are choosing to follow in any area of life conflicts with what it is that you really want.  That holds true for any area that you choose, from your relationship to your career.

When you move in a direction other than what you really want, at the deepest levels, it sucks up your energy… it’s like swimming against the tide:  you can do it, but it’s very draining, and eventually you run out of energy.  When you move in the direction of the current (your deepest self), however, it becomes very easy, freeing up that energy for whatever else needs it.

For example, if you have a job as a computer programmer, but what you really want to do is write fiction, that job will slowly drain you, even if you are very good at it, and well paid.  If, however, you were to find a job where you could write fiction, even if it didn’t pay as much, you would be considerably happier, with far more mental energy.

Relationships can work in the same way… if you are struggling and fighting to make your relationship be the way that your conscious mind says that it should be, it can leave you feeling very tired mentally.  If, on the other hand, you stop worrying about what it should be, and start focusing on, and expanding, the good parts of what it actually is, the speed with which your relationship and your mental state improve can be nothing short of amazing.

The drain of following your conscious mind when it conflicts with your spirit shows up in your body as stress and its bad effects, like headaches, stomach problems, and even just getting sick easier.  When it comes to emotions, you can recognize it by the balance of negative emotions to positive emotions… the more you fight your self, the more negative emotions you will experience.

The natural state of our emotions is positive.  It is only when we try to fight ourselves, to do something that we “should” do, instead of something that is right for us, that this positive emotional energy drains away, leaving room for negative feelings and, ultimately, no feelings at all.

It is both harder and easier than you might think to stop doing what you “should” do to focus on what is actually right for you.  It’s harder if you are like most people and have built up a habit over your entire lifetime of doing what you “should” do, and breaking a habit that strong is difficult… but it’s easier than you might think to maintain because you see and feel the difference so dramatically and so quickly.

So, three quick steps for bringing your conscious mind back into step with your deeper self, and thereby bringing more happiness:

  1. Figure Out Who You Are Beneath The Surface

    The first step is to figure out what part of what you’re doing is “should”.  In order to do that, you’re going to have to figure out who you really are, deep down… you might want to start by reading this article about being who you choose to be and this one about breaking down walls to let your deeper self out.

  2. Determine What You Really Want

    Once you figure out who you are, the next step is to figure out what it is that you really want to do, what it is that you are passionate about… your calling.

  3. Gather Your Courage And Take A Step On Your New Path

    Once you know what it is that you want, what fires up your passion, the next step is, well, to take a step along that path… but be careful that you don’t become too goal focused, or you can lose a lot of your fire.

Even after you make the choice to change, and start doing so, there may be points where start to slip back into the old way of doing things, worrying too much about should… that’s quite normal.  When you realize you’ve done so, just pick yourself back up and let should go again

PS – Thank you all for the time and attention you have given me… I know how valuable they are.  I really appreciate you spending the time to read my articles, and especially when you go through the trouble to let me know your thoughts, whether in the comments, by reviewing the article on StumbleUpon, or by email… thank you!

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