Do you agree that happiness is a choice?
How can I say this?
I, for one, am a genuinely happy person, you crack me a joke, and I’ll come laughing. You make me watch a sad movie and you’ll see me crying. Life never stops on challenging my journey, but I always find a way to make life easier and the universe I believe, is clearing the way to make it easier, sending instruments to help me get through. Much of the external forces, it’s within me to always believe that somewhere over the rainbow, I can reach my dreams.
One day, I met a genuinely lonely guy. As generous as I was to share and let him know how to change what he looks at to change how he feels, at the end of the day, he purposely goes back to looking at his difficulties, like he’s the only one who’s got them.
Our perceptions were different, and thus, those perceptions, the things that we choose to look at, have mirrored the differences in our belief and expectations about happiness.
But first and foremost, how does one know whether he or she is a happy person?
What is Happiness?
Happiness is a positive emotion, it’s a mixed feeling of joy, excitement, and contentment. Wikipedia describes happiness as a positive or pleasant emotion ranging from contentment to intense joy.
What makes one person happy may not work for others. However, the process is the same. It requires one’s decision to choose happiness, and commitment to stick to that choice.
Back to my guy, he focuses his attention to his worries than anything else, complains about how people around him are doing things wrong, expecting things to screw up because he believes he’s one unlucky guy, and wishing for someone to make him happy. But how do you make a lonely person happy? We cannot. As much as happiness is a choice, making others what to choose depends on how he wants to live his life. It’s always his choice and decision.
It stems from the root cause of events and circumstances and how we choose to deal with all these circumstances, thus although consist of series of choices, boils to one, choosing to feel good about the good side of it no matter how negative it can be. Seeing the positive in every negative, biting into the bright side, and knowing and accepting that it’s a choice on how we deal with every circumstance in life.
What affects our happiness?
- Challenges. Challenges stem from health to financial issues that affect our day-to-day lives.
Why happiness is a choice? We can look at challenges as the obstacle teaching us to be persistent in moving forward with life and pursuing what we want in order to become worthy of the achievement of our set goals and dreams.
- Not having enough money. Stems from wanting more beyond our means and getting frustrated when it’s not achieved right away. Also involves not meeting responsibilities and obligations when they fall due.
Why happiness is a choice? We can’t do anything about everything that’s not in our control. We can opt to focus on solving problems one at a time rather than focusing on the problems brought about by not having enough money.
- Sickness/Disabilities. This is well understood by those who are actually suffering from illnesses/disabilities.
Why happiness is a choice? As far as I would be very insensitive, to say the least to look into the bright side, since it involves great sacrifice from both the patient and family, there are people who suffered from illnesses/disabilities but chose to live happily and inspire others, i.e. Hellen Keller; Stevie Wonder; Stephen Hawking; Nick Vujicic; among others;
- Heartbreaks. This is a very excruciating process, but time lets us get used to all the pain.
Why happiness is a choice? Sure the thought of not having that someone become part of your future is very heartbreaking but being with anyone who doesn’t want to be there is more mind-boggling, stressful, and heartbreaking. What do we prefer?
- Social relationships. There’s a study about close relationships conducted by Robert Waldinger and his team, the longest study on happiness that gave the following lesson: being happy weren’t about life or fame or working harder and harder, good relationships keep us happy and healthier.
Why happiness is a choice? When it comes to any kind of relationship, communication is key. If no one is voicing out the problem about conflicts, if there is any, in your social group, you can be the one to speak up. Otherwise, be brave enough to pack your things and live in a positive and healthy environment.
- Unwanted job. In general, doing what we don’t want to do make us unhappy, much more having a job that we don’t actually dream of having that consume most of our waking hours.
Why happiness is a choice? It sure will take time, but instead of complaining about the unwanted job, use your free time to save money, or study and learn other courses that will direct you to the job or income-generating activity that will move you out of where you are currently. Focus on the achievement of this and you will feel excited every single day while doing the job you hate.
- Frustrations over failed goals and dreams. There we are setting goals and dreams, and used much time but failing to achieve some of them which can get you really frustrated.
Why happiness is a choice? Although the ultimate fulfillment is in the achievement of goals and dreams, if you choose to look at where you were before and now because of the pursuit of your dreams, the lessons you’ve learned and the people you meet, you’ll realize, time spent in pursuit of goals and dreams are time well spent.
So How Do We Choose To Live Happily?
- Decide. Make happiness on top of your goals. It’s first and foremost a decision you have to make every single day.
- Be grateful. Every little thing is a blessing. Our frustrations from not getting what we want are due to lack of gratitude towards what we already have.
- Enjoy every little moment. Be in the present and feel what these little moments bring about to your well-being.
- Get involve in physical activities. Physical activities can make you feel and look good, positive emotions that boost happiness.
- Be mindful. This is very important. Otherwise, it’s very easy to get carried away by emotions and all the noises around us as well as inside our minds.
- Choose your battle. We don’t need to react to every little thing that’s happening around us. So long as we know what we want to achieve in life, it would be clear to us what circumstances require our attention.
- Look up the sky and take a deep breath. Every morning, there’s a feeling of hope and happiness I personally experience whenever I do this.
- Be compassionate. There is nothing more rewarding than showing sympathy to others. Each of us has our own worries and easing other people’s burden is simply one way of giving that makes us feel worthwhile.
- Focus on the solution. Whenever challenges come, do not stumble upon the emotion attached to these challenges. Always be mindful to focus on the solution.
- Have a specific goal. The pursuit of goals and dreams make a person more disciplined, mindful and focused. Have this specific goal posted anywhere you can see it and whenever something’s bothering you, go back to that goal and instruct yourself to do something to realize it. Then you’ll notice that those things making you feel blue have nothing to do with what you actually have to be doing relative to your goals.
- Write. Make a habit to write what you think or feel. This way, you can have a better understanding of yourself and what causes you to feel these things.
Would you rather be happy or what?
Being unhappy does not make anyone feel good. Decide. Is it worth it to be living this short life unhappy?
You see, it’s all about changing our perceptions toward things. “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change”, and everything else in our lives will change. It starts with the decision to change our way of thinking and interpreting things and events happening around us.
Life is what we make it. It’s a decision. Like any other choices in life, it’s a decision.
Make that decision NOW! Choose happiness above anything else. Write it somewhere you can see every morning you wake up, “I choose and decide to be happy today, no matter what!”, and choose to make it your reality.
I’d be happy to know your thoughts in the comment section below.
All the best,
King Kong’s Girl