Wherever you are right now, take a moment to listen to the sounds around you. Listen to the breeze, the traffic, the birds, whatever exists. Now take a moment to listen to the silence; the silence that exist beyond and between the sounds around you.
Were you able to do it? It’s easy if it’s in a quiet room, but if you try it in a noisy room… it’s hard isn’t it? If you were able to do it easily, well good job!
In a world that growing more noisily every day, finding silence is harder and harder. It’s the same with finding the bright spots in your life. Sometimes it feels like the day is so filled with negative things that it’s impossible to see anything positive that might have happened.
But why do we find it so easily to notice the negative, but hardly the positive? We can just as easily ask, why do we notice the noise, but not the silence? Because noise gets our attention. Our brains have evolved to look for danger and out of the ordinary things, so we don’t notice the mundane things that happen every day that we should be happy about.
We can think about the big things like life, a roof over your head, or shelter. But even the small things, like getting green lights all the way to your destination, someone letting you merge into traffic, or simply the cashier genuinely smiling at you.
By seeing the positives, you can have a happier life. This is not just conjecture; there has been significant scientific work that has found a relationship between gratitude and happiness.
I’m not saying see the world with rose coloured glasses. What I’m saying is to see the world as it is – having both good and bad moments. To not have those negative moments overshadow or block out the positive ones.
As with anything, it takes practice to notice those positive things, just like learning to listen to the silence. It takes some introspection at the end of the day, and it takes meditation to train the mind to become aware of those moments.
So start on the path to happiness today. Every evening think about three things that went well today and note it in a journal (you have to get a journal!), and practice awareness meditation.
Remember to always listen to the silence.