A lot of discontent and unhappiness we often experience is because we do not accept what is happening right now and we want something else to happen. Although we intellectually know that there is suffering in the world, that things happen – death, disease, old age to everything that exists, we cannot accept it when it happens to something we connect with. Can we do something about it when that happens?
Let me try.
- Become aware of your thoughts.
- Become aware of your feelings.
- Verbalise or write them down.
- Become aware of the moment. This means sensing in the moment – becoming aware of what you are seeing, hearing, feeling, touching, smelling in that moment.
- Think positively about the situation in a conscious way.
- Let go of any resistance. Mentally accept it as it is.
Let us say you develop a cold. You become aware of the feeling of miserableness that you are feeling and the thought that this day is going to be uncomfortable. Then you focus on the actual sensation of blockedness or the runny nose, feeling the sensations. Look around and see that you can still see. Feel where your body touches the ground. Be aware of any smell in your nose and taste in your mouth and sounds that you can hear. Think positively about the situation- yes, colds do happen often and it goes away after some time. Why should I make it a bad day because of that. It has come and it will go away. Just let go of yourself in the present moment and accept the cold fully. See how you feel now.
As Epictetus said:
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
When something happens, the only thing in your power is your attitude toward it; you can either accept it or resent it.