"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." - Mahatma Gandhi
This quote reminded me of a simple tool that everyone can use to try to experience more happiness or change negative emotions into positive emotions.
In the past I have explained a little bit about cognitive behavioral therapy. Here is a different explanation that will also help you to manage moods, thoughts and behaviors as well. Below is a visual explanation.
On top is our thoughts. Those are typically that is most noticeable when trying to understand what is going on. Our thoughts are so powerful and create a filter that affects how we see everything and as a result, how we feel. On the bottom of the triangle is feelings and behaviors, which again, are affected by our thoughts as well. Everything is all related to one another
To put it all together here is an example that everyone might be able to relate to. You walk into a room by yourself and see everyone congregating in the corner and talking. When you walk closer the conversation stops. Two options are possible - One: Most people often jump to the conclusion that "They are talking about me. They are saying negative things about me. They don't like me. I should leave." Those are the automatic negative thoughts that often happen. The resulting feelings can be inferior, alone, afraid, and worthless. The behavior that can result is you stand there and not participate in the conversation or you might even listen to yourself leave.
The second possibility is you can change the automatic negative thoughts that are happening. Instead of thinking negatively you can think something like this "They want to include me in the conversation. They were waiting for me. I can just jump in to this conversation too. I am happy to be here." The feelings from these thoughts are the exact opposite of what happened with the negative thoughts - happiness, excitement, and joy. The behavior that happens is probably smiling, engaging with other people and being outgoing.
We have absolutely no evidence to support any of our negative thoughts, so the best way to go will always be positive so you don't have to miss our on a perfectly good opportunity!
The best part about the triangle is that it can be flipped. Any side can be on top and any of the three parts can be changed in order to change your feelings, thoughts and behaviors. Relating this back to the quote - you really do need all of them to be aligned in order to feel true happiness and be able to change your whole being to be more positive.