Recent scientific studies confirm that the human mind generates about 60,000 thoughts a day, of which 80% are negative and 94% are repetitive. This generates a discordance between reality and what we perceive as real. They have never told us not to believe what we think, but everything in common. Instead, today we know that, if we do, we are only seeing the nefarious part of the puzzle. Believing thoughts, letting ourselves be guided by the stories we tell ourselves about reality leads us irremediably to suffering, to separation. Thoughts condition emotions and these in turn determine how we act and communicate with others. Only by questioning our thoughts can we be free and achieve happiness. Exercise to experience this error. Whenever you feel stressed or hurt with someone you can say: “What I am thinking about that person, is it true?”. Then give the space the necessary time and allow your inner voice to answer the question. This idea is part of the method The Work of Byron Katie, a simple meditation to end suffering.


 Have you ever had the feeling of not living your life or feeling disconnected from yourself? Are you uncomfortable with certain behaviors of others? Do you think that your partner should listen to you more, that your mother should love more or that life should not be the way it is? Then it is that you have left being in your affairs and you live pending of the other’s behaviour or the affairs of the world. We tend to observe what others do, to scrutinize their lives and to judge what they do. And the immediate consequence is that we put ourselves aside, we neglect our objectives, we move away from our path. We hear the noise of the world, instead of our inner voice.  Exercise to deal with this error When you feel something bothers you about the other person, ask yourself: “Whose business is this? What is really my business?». Being attentive to your own affairs will help you to recover your authority and autonomy. It will allow you to respect others and yourself while you stop taking things as something personal. 


 Pretending personal satisfaction by obtaining the recognition of the other makes us slaves of that person. However, this behavior is common and often unconscious. Realize if we act to congratulate us or if we do it obeying our criteria is key to be free. If we relate looking for the “pat on the back” we stop respecting ourselves and we become dependent on others. You do not need anyone’s permission to be happy, only to allow yourself to be.  And one more thing, being open to criticism is decisive for your freedom. Yes, the important thing is how you perceive yourself and how you treat yourself. Exercise to face that error. Ask yourself: “What would I do differently if I knew that nobody was judging me?” Once you’ve asked yourself that question, do the following: for 24 hours stop looking for recognition or pat from other people to feel better or reaffirm yourself. Do it and observe what happens. 


 Bringing light to our shadows is the first step to enter into happiness. Pretending to be happy without having accepted and integrated the experiences until you see them as a gift is a hoax. The resistance to address deep fears, pains and traumas, usually originated in childhood, keeps us trapped in suffering, in “living half-heartedly”. That attitude, in addition, leads us to be dishonest with what we really want and to drag a feeling of loss, abandonment, separation and confusion.   How long are you going to leave your issues pending? If you feel that you do not deserve to be happy, if you think you are a victim of circumstances, if you have feelings of resentment or you want to be someone different from who you are, it is time to readjust this perspective.  Exercise to face this error: Invest in yourself. If you need help, look for a professional to accompany you on your path of improvement. When you start working for and for you, you will discover a life of possibilities, you will recover your personal power and honor the unique and special person that you are. 


Rely on getting a promotion, a new car, traveling the world or an approach to someone that interests us to feel happy makes us prisoners of circumstances. The distance between what we have now and what we think we should have is the argument that we tell ourselves not to be happy. We often think that “life owes us something.” The truth is that you do not require anything more than what you already have to be happy: realize your greatness, your personal power and the beauty that surrounds you. It’s just a matter of perspective. Be aware that only you choose how to live and experience each situation. Every moment is an opportunity to stop focusing on what you do not have and to realize everything that life is giving you.  Exercise to face this error: We can not control what happens, but how we respond to it. When we feel anxious, sad or desperate to get something we can ask ourselves: “What am I really looking for?” And then we must check what is behind what is wanted. Maybe it’s love, recognition, security, balance, freedom .. If you’re not sure, keep asking … “What I’m looking for outside, can I give it to myself now? How can I give it to myself?” . Maybe the answer surprises you.


 Bliss, joy, abundance is there, in every moment. But happens that we try to live in another time and place. We live anchored in the past or lost imagining a better future. While we work we dream of those longed vacations and during the holidays we are not able to disconnect from work. And so between headaches our life is passing without having taken part.  The paradox is that working a better future depends on our ability to pay attention to what happens in the present. The moment that passes will not come back. Life and happiness are in the here and now.  Exercise to face this error: To live in the present moment you need intention and practice. Start by noticing the times you stop talking in the present tense. When you observe that you are ruminating an idea about the past, connect with your breathing. Meditation or mindfulness can help you live in the present


 It is usual not to pay attention to the body and demand that it sustain us and make us angry when we get sick or when it does not respond to our demands. Living disconnected from our body, as if it were an entity apart from us, generates discomfort and moves us away from our wise nature. Exercise to face this error: You can start taking care of your body by feeding yourself properly, and visiting areas in nature such as parks, forests and beaches. This will help you feel better and increase your energy. You will also find it useful to exercise regularly and rest when you feel like it.  You can listen to your body that speaks to you through pain, physical movements and muscular tensions. Observe through him the moments when you deprive yourself of inner peace and ask yourself: What situation or thought is causing this physical sensation? 


When we suffer we believe that nothing makes sense, that life is unfair and we feel that there is nothing to be grateful for. As time pass by we are aware that what seemed disastrous was the best thing that could have happened, that everything that happened fits perfectly now and that it has been for my maximum benefit.  Thanking heals wounds, motivates us, opens us to what is, helps us accept what was, what is and what will be. It connects us with our hearts and the hearts of others. Exercise to sort out this error. Before going to sleep, review your day and write down 3 things you appreciate. You will see how each time your list of acknowledgments will be longer and you will feel greater happiness each day.

Originally published in ABC: https://www.abc.es/familia/vida-sana/abci-cambios-debes-hacer-para-ser-feliz-201903192318_noticia.html

More information (in Spanish) : https://www.zeneidabernabe.com/the-work-byron-katie/