When most people think about happiness, they assume that it is something that happens to them. They don’t believe they can choose happiness, but it’s a choice you make every day. You can control your thoughts and emotions and decide to be happy.
Here are six ways that show how happiness is a choice:
1. You decide where to focus your energy. What you focus on has a significant impact on your happiness. For example, if you choose to focus on the negative, you will notice all the bad things in your life and be unhappy. However, if you focus on the positive, you will feel optimistic about your life.
● Focusing on the positive aspects of your life shows your brain that most things turn out okay. Each day can bring many things that support our happiness.
● But conversely, when you focus on the negatives, your brain automatically goes into survival mode and worries about all the things that could go wrong.
● Studies show that positive thinking can improve your health! For example, one study showed that people who had a positive outlook on life were less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.
● When you decide to focus on the positive, you take control of your life.
2. You decide how you respond to situations. You will face challenging problems in life, but how you respond to tough situations matters. During difficult times, some people choose to focus on all the negative aspects of their lives, and they become unhappy.
● Others prefer to focus on the positive, and they can maintain a strong sense of happiness and well-being while they determine solutions to their issues.
● When you decide how you respond to situations, you choose how you want to feel. For example, if you get laid off from your job, you can focus on the negative and feel sorry for yourself or focus on the positive and see it as an opportunity to find a better job.
● Set an example for others. When you choose to be happy, you inspire those around you to do the same despite facing difficulties.
● Respond instead of reacting. When you react to a situation, you usually act out of emotion and do not think clearly. When you respond to a problem, you make a conscious decision about how to act.
3. You control your thoughts. Your thoughts have a massive impact on your happiness. If you want to be happy, you must take control of your life and decide how you want to think. Only then will you be able to maintain your happiness.
● Be aware of your thoughts. The first step to controlling your thoughts is to be mindful of them. When you are aware of your thoughts, you can question why you think of them.
● Practice positive self-talk. One way to control your thoughts is to practice positive self-talk. Instead of talking to yourself negatively, change the narrative. For example, instead of saying, “I’m so fat,” say, “I’m healthy, and I love my body.”
● Choose your thoughts wisely. Another way to control your thoughts is to choose them. When presented with an idea, ask yourself if it is helpful or harmful. If it is destructive, let it go.
● What you allow yourself to think about has a significant impact on your happiness. You can choose to think about cheerful things, or you can choose to think about sad things. It’s up to you!
4. You can change your mindset. If you want to be happy, you can change your perspective. Many people believe that happiness is something that you are born with and that you can’t control. However, this isn’t true! You can choose to be happy by changing your mindset.
● The first step to changing your mindset is to choose to be happy. Decide that you will be happy, no matter what.
● Life will present you with problems. However, you can decide to look at the world with a “glass half full” mindset or a “glass-half-empty” mindset. You decide.
● Write your negative thoughts in a journal to identify when and why you have these thoughts. When you understand why you have negative thoughts and feelings, you can create a plan to process your thoughts healthily.
● See a therapist. A negative mindset might stem from childhood or adulthood trauma. A professional can provide tools to help shift your mindset from negative to positive.
5. You can change your behavior. Your behavior affects your happiness. If you want to be happy, you need to choose to act to make yourself happy.
● Choose your actions wisely. When an opportunity presents itself, ask yourself if it will make you happy. If the answer is no, then don’t do it!
● Make a list of things that bring you joy and try to do at least one of those things each day.
● Avoid people who bring you down. There is no reason to keep people in your life who make you unhappy. If someone consistently gets you down, it’s time to let them go.
● Do something new. Trying new things is a great way to spice up your life, leading to happiness. When you step out of your comfort zone, you open yourself to new experiences and possibilities.
6. You can find meaning in your life. When you find meaning in your life, you are more likely to be happy. To find meaning in your life, ask yourself what you are passionate about and what you want to achieve. Once you have a good understanding of these things, you can start working towards them.
● Achieving your goals will strengthen your mental health and give your life purpose and meaning.
● Do something that you are passionate about. When you are working on something you are passionate about, you are more likely to be happy.
● Help others. One of the best ways to find meaning in your life is to help others. When you help someone, you make a positive impact on their lives and make yourself feel good.
● Do something that brings you joy. When you do something that makes you feel good, it boosts your mood and improves your mental health. Doing things that make you happy will also help you find meaning in your life.
Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy, no matter what life throws your way. When you decide to be happy, you are more likely to find happiness in your life. So, change your mindset, focus on the positive aspects of your life, and find peace in the little things.
Find meaning in your life and do more of the things that make you feel at ease. When you focus on the problematic parts of your life, they multiply. However, things look brighter when you place your energy into the positive aspects of your life. Every day, you get to decide how you think or feel. Today, choose happiness.