We are never more than one thought away from happiness

If you buy into the fact that our minds go round in endless loops driven by sense contact and thoughts, then it's only a short step to believe that one thought (or sense contact) can change the whole shape of our minds in an instant. (Indeed, it seems that the consumer world is driven by this desire to find pleasure in an instant). We might like to try this "pleasure in an instant" experiment for ourselves:

1. We are feeling glum.
2. Everything looks glum. It's cloudy, we're chronically ill, we have nothing to do.
3. We go to the shop. Someone smiles at us, we smile back. Things are looking up. There's a change.
4. We walk down the street. We meet a friend and they are generally nice to us. The change gathers momentum.

And so on. Nothing changes in the world but some pleasant interactions have done something to our mood.

Now, the trouble is, that random chance for mood enhancement is a bit random, but if we go looking for it or try to force pleasant sense contact then it all goes a bit wrong.The real trick is to recognise the positive mood when it happens and dwell on it. Then, when we need a thought to change our mood we can recall the positive feelings and get the hit all over again.

If this all sounds a bit theoretical, read Daffodils by William Wordsworth - some say he was a happy poet.

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