The role of peace and hope in happiness

There are so many factors that contribute to happiness, many of which depend upon how you think and act NOW in the present. But this post is about the past and the future.
Can you be happy now if you are haunted by events from the past? If you are traumatised by stressful events from your childhood - or even last month? Or if you have unresolved issues or relationships that impact on your current actions and relationships.
Can you imagine being happy now if you are worried about what will happen in the future? This includes events that you know will happen and you are worried about how you will cope with them, for example, or events that you fear may happen.

Happiness now depends upon being at peace with past - including forgiving yourself and others.
Happiness now depends upon having hope for the future.

Don't shut the skeletons of anger, sadness, fear, guilt, regret and hurt in your emotional closet. The effort of keeping them under lock and key is draining and stressful. Re-frame the negative emotions and events, or work out a way of seeing them from a more positive perspective. The negativity isn't helpful to you now. The negative stuff from the past weighs you down and the negative way you are viewing the future is holding you back. Doing this is not always straightforward so I will address reframing and belief change in future posts.

Negative emotions can always be overrided by positive ones, and here is one way of accessing authentic happiness from your memories. A more involved version of this process is used to permanently remove negative emotions from events. For now, though, let's focus on savouring a happy memory.

Think of a specific happy memory in the past. Close your eyes and imagine yourself floating up above yourself, up above your present self. Imagine all your memories are arranged along a line - like a railway - going into the past in one direction and your future stretched out in the other. Your line could be straight, V-shaped, curved and at any angle. Now, still high above your time line, float back to the memory you have identitfied. Float there as long as like, view the scene through your own eyes, soak up all you could see, hear and feel, enjoy the positive emotions and float back to now along your time line.


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