How to Cut Out 90 % of Your Unhappiness
The answer is: by not judging and resisting what you have now, and not immersing yourself in negative thoughts about past or future.
Most of human pain is unnecessary, self-created pain, writes Eckhart Tolle in his masterpiece book Power of Now.
Pain We Create
First, judgment creates unnecessary pain. In our thoughts, we judge our current life situation. Consequently, on the emotional level, we feel negativity (fear, sadness, anger).
The key to freedom is not identifying yourself with the emotions and thoughts. You are the observer, not what you observe (= emotions & thoughts).
Second, dwelling in the past or being anxious about the future creates unnecessary pain.
You learn from your past. But now, stay in the present moment to act according to what you learned. You set goals for your future. But now, come back to the present moment to act towards your goals. What you ever really have is the present moment.
How to Do It?
It’s difficult not to immerse into the negative emotions. And it’s difficult not to time travel in your mind. Unfortunately, this requires practice. Fortunately, you can practice anywhere and anytime. Start now for example.
Notice your thoughts about your current life situation. Is your mind judging something or someone? Accept the possible difficulties. Don’t resist, and don’t dwell in the difficulties. Only act to make things better if needed.
Or is your mind bringing back unwanted mental images and stories from the past. Notice those, and accept what happened. Gently bring your attention back to the present moment. You likely already know what need to be done differently in the present moment. No need to spend more time in the past.
Tolle, Eckhart: The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. New World Library and Namaste Publishing, 2004.