Life is full of peaks of happiness, as well as valleys of suffering. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to feel that times of suffering drag on endlessly, while happiness is over in an instant. Would you shocked to know that you can find happiness during times of suffering without having to look ahead at the next mountain peak you may have to climb?
You can find happiness through suffering if you simply seek out contentment. Of course, this isn’t always easy to do. How in the world can you give thanks during a bleak period in your life? The following methods have worked for others and will likely work for you.
Sacrifices can bring joy to others. Consider a mom who suffers for her children. She may sacrifice her needs so that her children feel joy. This can be difficult, leaving the mom feeling as if she is losing herself while trying to meet her children’s needs. During this period of suffering, she may feel essentially hopeless. Yet, the mere sight of her child’s smile can instantly replace these feelings of hopelessness with a sense of happiness that comes from helping others.
There are times when a fresh start is all you need. For example, ask any avid video gamer how beneficial a total restart can be. While it may take some extra work to start over at the very beginning again, it can also help you achieve a greater level of happiness if you manage it correctly.
You can always learn something from experience. “Educational suffering”, also referred to as a challenge by some, is one of the most common types of suffering. It gives us the best chance to look inward at how we are maturing on an inner, even spiritual way. Situations that we believe may be beyond us can become obvious educational experiences. There are times when recognizing a challenge and standing up to it, regardless of how hard that might be, can be enough to bring happiness back into your live.
Suffering is the best way to develop emotional endurance. Stamina is necessary for everything, including the development of emotional endurance. You must encounter suffering in order to run the entire race of life. Have you ever seen someone who can go through what would seem to be an impossible situation, only to find success in the end? This is because they understand that suffering is a positive tool for development. This can also be used to find happiness.
The smallest things still have the ability to bring you joy. Consider the following scenario. You are alone in a dark room. You are tired, thirsty, hungry, lonely, confused, and even angry. This is truly emotional suffering. Just the smallest sip of water, bite of bread, or glimpse of light can grant a respite and result in significant joy. If, on your worst days, you can look toward something that you love, then that moment of joy can relieve your suffering. Over time, these perfect moments will add up and bring you closer to the next mountain peak.
Fate doesn’t control your life. When we encounter suffering, we often want to know why. Unfortunately, there is no good answer when we want a tangible answer. In reality, you are in control of how you feel, as well as what you want to do about this feeling. Sure, external factors can impact you’re your joy, but you have to decide whether to allow these factors to influence you or simply ignore them. Ultimately, happiness is a choice that you can make.
Overcoming adversity helps to create strength. How many times have you heard the saying, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” There actually is truth to this saying. For example, parents who have had a child die can help parents facing a similar situation. Teenage moms can provide a place for other teenage moms to vent, as well as share advice. Experiencing adversity creates strength, particularly when you determine a way to blaze a trail through it.
Stop comparing your life to others. The thing is that when you are in a deep valley, someone else is at the top of a mountain summit. It can hurt to see this and it can result in problems. If you are constantly examining the lives of others, you are missing the perfect moments that are currently going on in your life. When you actively seek the extraordinary on any old ordinary day, it becomes easier to find contentment in any situation you might face.
While you may not realize it at first, suffering can be used to your advantage. It can be easy to become jealous of those on the top of a mountain summit or to become lost in a dark valley, but ultimately you are the one in control. You have the option of choosing happiness. This is how you can find happiness in suffering…because you choose to see it.
Source: The Mind Unleashed
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