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You Can Free Yourself Of Misery

Mar 3, 2008
"Life is short, misery is optional." - Unknown

I think I saw this quote on a bumper sticker, I'm not sure. I have searched for the author but could not find a positive connection anywhere, but the quote is great and succinct. Why it is that some people just insist on being miserable? Misery is a choice and that is the point of the quote. You don't have to be miserable. Why then are there so many who we see everyday that are?

People who are this way seem to be trapped in a self-made nightmare that is perpetual and relentless. There is a large undetected group of people that go along everyday performing and functioning at their jobs and in their families who suffer prolonged negative thinking which makes them miserable. If you find yourself in that classification here is the good news! You don't have to remain trapped in this condition. You can free yourself of misery.

The first step towards freedom is you must believe that you have the power to change all that. It starts by wiping out that negative thought you had when you read in the fourth sentence, "Misery is a choice". You immediately had a knee-jerk reaction to that positive statement, and it wasn't a positive reaction you had. You thought in an instant, "Yeah right; than why am I so miserable? This guy doesn't have as many bad things happen to him as I do that causes me to be miserable." I knew you were thinking that.

You must believe what William James said: "...human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind." Once you believe that then it is a matter of changing your attitudes. Does that mean miserable people are that way because of their attitudes? Yes! I am not saying they don't have bad things happen to them, they do; we all do. But positive thinking people don't allow the trap to fall.

What trap is that? The trap of perpetual negative thoughts. Once that trap falls it is extremely hard to battle the idea that you are miserable for a reason. The perpetual negative thoughts will continue to remind you like an old broken record of all the reasons why you should feel miserable. The thought process is then short-circuited and then almost like an old wind-me-up doll you proceed to utter the same phrases and the same words over and over again the reasons why you are miserable. Only you can stop that merry-go-round.

This misery is transferable, which is what explains the fact that many people don't enjoy being around you so much when you get this way. Consider what Norma Lehmeier Hartie says about negativity. She said, "Every one of us, consciously or unconsciously, affects the objects and people around us--including ourselves--on a continual basis. Think about the expression "laughter is contagious." It is! How do you feel when you are around happy, laughing people? Usually, you can't help but feel good yourself. All emotions are energy and energy passes from one body to another; from one object to another; matter to matter. Emotions are contagious!" That probably explains why you sometimes go to a party in a miserable state and you come out completely changed. Think about it for a moment. Positive fun people can influence that change in you simply by laughing or sharing positive feelings with you. You see! You can alter your state of mind. Here it happened by accident, but you can stop the negative merry-go-round by just being in a room with positive people.

But that won't be enough. Because you will eventually return back to your own thoughts and when you do it will be like mount Fillmore crashing down on your head with a sudden burst of negativity. Don't forget, your company won't much appreciate you either if you continue rolling around in the muck of your negativity in front of them. They will eventually tire and want to be free from your negativity.

So the first step is believing that you can change your attitudes of mind. The next step is to act in accord with that by changing. This is where all the cognitive work comes in. What I mean is, this is where you must do the mental work that is required to change a thought. It is not difficult so stop thinking that. It is simple. But the secret is, it must be repetitive. Just like the old broken record that plays when you are negative, now you must play a new record over and over again. This is where you repeat positive affirmations to counter the negative ones. When a negative idea appears like this one, "Oh that's easier said than done. He doesn't know...so on and so on", just replace it with, "I can do that. That's easy!"

Now believe it or not, that's all it takes. If you can do this you are well on your way to stopping your misery. Bad things happen to people all the time. Stop thinking you are the only one they happen to. The difference is some people refuse to let the bad things change their attitude. They put on the smile even when they feel like crying. They dance even though they feel like sitting it out. They run down the beach even though they feel they can hardly walk. The biggest thing to guard yourself of is getting into that repetitive negative thinking process I call the "loop". Stay out of the loop and start your own positive affirmations and you will stop misery from being your friend.

Remember, life is short but misery is optional.
About the Author
John Cyr is a retired workforce development trainer and motivational consultant who writes articles and editorials under the pen-name Johnny Cyreous, or Cyreous. He maintains a website of quotes by famous people and advocates his method of teaching at www.cyreousquotes.com
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