Here is a mini journey travelling full circle through simple dictionary definitions and highlighting single keywords:
Unhappy – miserable
Miserable – discomfort
Discomfort – unease
Unease – anxious
Anxious – worried
Worried – troubled
Troubled – bothered
Bothered – irritated
Irritated – annoyed
Annoyed – distressed
Distressed – unhappy
This is how easy it is for the mind to trap itself inside a loop of definitions and labels; apparent logical reasoning and justification, created by thoughts – and of course thoughts are only words!
There are thousands more words like the above; I simply chose to stop looking. The link for all the above words is that they are all resistance. In every case the words (or thoughts which can convert into feelings) amount to the exact same thing – resisting reality; denying what is, in the present moment.
Is it that simple? No from the point of being buried in the complexity of thought; that is, when thinking without awareness of the impact of thinking. And yes from the point of conscious realization of the process, from which you can detach, watch what is happening and choose to drop the resistance.
The difference then, is simply the conscious realization of the resistance of reality; noting the creation of unhappiness within, through the words or thoughts you are selecting, following, dwelling on and attaching to.
If unhappiness is resistance of reality – what is reality? Reality is the present moment, right now; so unhappiness is resistance of the moment in the moment. Even if you resist a past or future moment, memory or projection, you can still only resist it now.
The next time you feel unhappy, notice, and investigate what it is that you are resisting. You might be choosing to resist letting go of a past that has already gone or resisting a future that has not arrived or resisting the present moment right this minute. If you can do something now to help drop the resistance do it, if you can’t do something right now let go and wait until you can. The alternative is to stay trapped in a circle of thought like the example above. Essentially trapped in words that you choose to believe, and focus on.
Try practicing surrender; give in, give up, let go, start afresh; reboot your thoughts.
Beyond the sky space goes on for millions and millions of miles without end. When you feel trapped in thought contemplate the infinity of the universe. (See also Meditate on the Universe)
Once you surrender to the moment you can begin to see it as temporary even though your mind and thoughts can tend to convince you it is permanent or inescapable. Here are some associated quotes:
“If I can do something about it, it makes no sense to worry about it. If I can’t do something about it, it makes no sense to worry about it” ~ Wayne Dyer
“There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them” ~ Anthony de Mello
“You cannot be unhappy without an unhappy story” ~ Eckhart Tolle
“It is not possible to attain happiness without non-attachment” – Paramahansa Yogananda
“A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering” ~ Byron Katie
See also: Why attach to a thought Mind Map