How much easier is life on the days that we feel good about ourselves? Work seems easier and more enjoyable, with more purpose, and we are more self assured. People and situations that might sometimes bring us down or annoy us brush straight off our backs as we plough through with our day. When all is done and we get the chance to rest, we feel happy just sitting with ourselves and our own sense of well being.
On a day where we feel bad about ourselves, we self doubt and second guess ourselves at every step, exhausting our psyche with a bombardment of negative thoughts at every step we take in the direction of our day. A person having a “bad hair day” as an illustration of this state of mind, is considered to be having a bad day in general; but it starts with how they first see themselves at the beginning of the day. Not feeling comfortable with oneself means we are not comfortable with the world around us. Instead of feeling a sense of euphoria or contentment at the end of our day, we feel an exasperated sense of relief instead- not pleasure but rather the absence of the distress caused by our negative thinking.
How we feel about ourselves is the lens by which we see the world- our feelings are inextricably linked to our thoughts. When we feel sad, angry, ashamed or fearful, our thoughts direct us to seek out what it is in the world that is making us feel that way. But the habit is too often to look outward at the world around us instead of inward at ourselves.
The definition of being truly at peace in the world is that nothing around us can impact on our own sense of well being: if we are at peace with ourselves then we are at peace with everything through which we exist with and all else is insignificant by comparison to this sense of well being.
By simply being aware of the relationship between our thoughts and feelings it is possible to make big changes with how we see ourselves and subsequently the world around us when we notice that all is not well with our way of thinking, and therefore feeling. This is a powerful thing to see: when we realize that much of our bad thoughts are about how we feel about ourselves we can make changes to ourselves rather than blaming the world around us, which is completely futile and only serves to fuel our negativity and inadvertently self sabotaging ourselves with this negativity.
By connecting with ourselves we become better aware of our own sense of well being and happiness, our creative and problem solving abilities and our performance and communication skills and the bounds to which these are set, and we can accept the limitations of our own being rather than getting irritated by things outside of our control like having to wait in queues or late or missed buses. With our lives rid of these irritations life becomes a lot less painful. This prayer is known as the serenity prayer and is an excellent way by which to think of our own thoughts and feelings, and what we choose to act upon.