When we find ourselves unhappy and lacking that fulfilled sense of joy, it can often be that our “reality” of what is going on for us right now, doesn’t match up with our expectations of ourselves, our circumstances or the people around us!
We call this the Happiness Gap! The bigger gap between our expectations and our reality, the unhappier we can feel!
Think of it like a movie playing inside our heads of how we expect our life to be if it is all going to our “plan” and then there is the reality of what is…
We are happy if our life matches our “movie” but disappointed if it doesn’t.
We are also disappointed when the characters in our movie respond differently in real life than what we expect, which is usually the case in real life, right?
This type of thinking creates a gap between our expectations and our reality. When our mind notices this gap it asks why and this can feel uncomfortable at times.
The answers to this question can spiral us into a cycle of negative thinking.
Why am I not happy? Then comes the inner critic of our mind, tell us limiting beliefs such as
“I am not attractive enough,”
“nothing ever works out for me,”
“I am not smart enough…”
With Mindful awareness we become aware of the gap or as we call it – ‘Mind the gap.’
We can learn that in some cases, to work on releasing this movie in our heads by turning our expectations into appreciation for all that we do have.
We learn to throw away the movie and approach life with curiosity, gratitude and kindness.
Practising gratitude or appreciation cultivates a feeling, we can practise this by keeping a list each day of 3 things we are grateful for in our life right now. It can also be a lovely thing to do verbally, with your family or partner at the dinner table at the end of the day.
It gets easier to practise this over time and can anything that is seemingly “small things” such as a warm meal on the table, or, your comfy bed, to loving friends around you, or, a stranger smiling at you today!
Try it for yourself, keep it up each day and soon you will really start to notice there is more and more for you to appreciate in your life!
Learn more practical Mindfulness tools and techniques and teach them to others, with our Ovio Online Mindfulness Course