“Choose your thoughts carefully, keep what brings you peace, release what brings you suffering and know that happiness is just a thought away.” – Nishan Panwar
Simple concept and so true, although the secret is finding out how to do this quickly and then practicing it regularly until it becomes a habit. The first step for me is awareness. To become conscious of when I am suffering. This need not be big or dramatic, rather it can be as subtle as just feeling a little down or hurt.
Once I become versed at practicing awareness, the next step is to discover what works to help me release me from my suffering thoughts. I use prayer (connecting with my HP), journaling out my thoughts and feelings, writing a gratitude list, meditating, making amends to myself and/or others if I’ve discovered the need to do so in my writing, calling my sponsor or another inspired person I trust to help me release my suffering, getting into service with others or just doing a selfless act like picking up some trash or cleaning something for someone else without being asked, exercising and getting to a meeting. I also use HALT as an acronym reminder to see whether I’m hungry, angry, lonely or tired and address any of those issues.
Once I felt like I had some workable solutions to help me release the suffering, it was time for the hard part: action. Consistently taking those actions which represented my path to peace was the only way I could master the process, and allow myself to quickly transition out of thoughts that cause me suffering and into those that bring me peace and happiness.
I’m pretty sure that having discovered, and continuing to use, this system to decrease my personal suffering is a big reason why ILML!