Is happiness something that just happens, or do you choose it? Read on to find out if you choose happiness–or if it chooses you.
We’ve all met people who seem determined not to be happy. Somehow their whole identity is wrapped up in being angry at the world or playing the victim.
Before you judge, check yourself. Have you labeled yourself with a certain emotion? “I’m always ___.” It’s never too late to redefine yourself.
You are a human, which means you are capable of experiencing every kind of emotion. Do you want more happiness in your life?
Pursue the mindset of happiness. Tell yourself it is possible for you (because it is!).
Seeing Something Positive in Everything
Having a happiness mindset means that you choose happiness–or you at least choose to pursue it.
Happy individuals open their eyes to the truth, beauty, and goodness in the world. How do you change your perspective? Start writing gratitude lists. Once you start this exercise, you may be surprised at what you notice.
You may find yourself at peace with the challenges you have experienced because they have made you the person you are today.
Or when faced with change, you see the opportunity for something better or the chance to grow as a person.
Choosing happiness means adopting a perspective in which you look for the good.
Doesn’t Mean You Have to Be Happy All the Time
Having a positive mindset doesn’t mean you are happy all the time. We are not robots who can set a dial to “happiness.”
Life has its difficulties: job loss, relationship troubles, health issues, etc. No one should have to plaster a smile on their face and fake their way through a struggle. Give yourself permission to have feelings.
But know that though troubles last for a night, joy comes in the morning. Darkness is broken by light. There will be days of difficulty (even seasons of it), but shafts of happiness may shine through those times. Be on the lookout for little graces: a text from a dear friend, a loving pet, time to rest and recover, the view out your window, etc.
Happiness Is a Choice
Are you ready to choose happiness? Happiness does not just fall from the sky; it is a pursuit as well as a mindset.
Choosing happiness is an active thing.
Here’s how to choose happiness:
- Start by taking care of yourself: mind, body, and spirit. Start your day with quiet and intention. Nourish your body. Drink water. Incorporate movement into your day. Step out into the sunshine.
- Forgive yourself and forgive others. Are you your worst critic? Perfection is not a standard to live by because then failure is your only option. Be easy on yourself. In the same way that shame and self-blame will consume you, so will anger and bitterness toward others. If you can’t forgive yourself or process hurts in your life, reach out for help.
- Reach out to others. Healthy relationships nourish our souls. We draw strength and encouragement (and happiness!) from loving others.
- Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Purposefully pay attention to the truth, beauty, and goodness around you. Take walks outside and notice nature’s beauty. Mentally catalog all the individuals who, though imperfect, have changed your life for the good. Appreciate what you have. Read what inspires you. Savor the good things in your life.
Happiness Lives Inside You
Happiness is not something that you chase and find somewhere else. You have a capacity for it. You do! We all do.
You don’t have to upend your life or change everything about yourself to find happiness. Happiness lives inside you. And you can help it grow by practicing the ability to see what is good. Believe that each day brings possibility–the possibility for joy.
Do you want to choose happiness? Then start here. Choose to believe it is possible for you. Happiness can be your hallmark.