“Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There’s going to be stress in life, but it’s your choice whether you let it affect you or not.” These are the wise words of Valerie Bertinelli.
Indeed happiness is a choice, but very few people understand this.
Furthermore, research shows that there’s so much unhappiness, anger, resentment, strife, and bitterness in the world we live in today, either in the workplace, homes, or society at large.
This, in turn, gives rise to so many vices and toxic behaviors that negatively affect the overall quality of life.
If you want to live your best life, maximize your potential, and be all that you can be, then you must resolve to choose happiness every day of your life constantly.
Keep reading to find ways to choose happiness regardless of how you may be; business owner, entrepreneur, work from home boss, etc.
Happiness Is A Choice – Understanding What Happiness Means
Choosing happiness in life starts from understanding what happiness truly means.
Hence, we’ll consider the following;
- What happiness truly means; how do you recognize it when you feel it.
- Causes of unhappiness
- Negative effects of unhappiness
- Ways to chose happiness
- Why you should choose happiness
What Happiness Truly Means
Most people have several definitions of happiness, what it means to them and how they express this feeling.
However, to understand the true meaning of happiness and why happiness is a choice, we’ll consider different definitions of happiness.
7 Unique Definitions of Happiness
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony”.-Mahatma Gandhi.
This definition looks at happiness holistically as an extension of our inner and outward expressions.
Hence, when you’re happy, it not only reflects on your thoughts alone but also in your interaction with people and your actions.
“Happiness is something that you are, and it comes from the way you think.” – Wayne Dyer.
From this, we can see that happiness is not just a state of mind but also an identity shaped by your mindset.
Hence, the happier you are, the better your identity as a person becomes.
“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” – Jim Rohn.
This definition truly captures the concept of happiness as a choice.
A lot of times, people postpone their happiness to a time when certain conditions are met.
In other words, they choose not to be happy until something major happens in their lives when in the real sense, they can be happy every single moment of their lives.
Hence, happiness shouldn’t be momentary.
“True happiness is…to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca.
This definition points again to the fact that happiness should be constant, not momentarily.
Most people have the habit of focusing on the past and worrying about the future.
However, it’s good to think about the future; do not allow your thoughts about the future to rob you of the present moment’s happiness.
“Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so.” – Robert Green Ingresoll.
Based on this definition, we can see that happiness is more fulfilling when you share it with others and make them happy.
Hence, we can say that happiness is not self-centered.
“Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions; it is governed by our mental attitude. “– Dale Carnegie.
By this definition, we learn that situations around us should not determine how happy we are.
Rather, happiness should be a mentality.
Therefore, happiness is when circumstances around you do not affect how you feel about life generally.
“Happiness is itself a kind of gratitude. “– Joseph Wood Krutch.
Still, on the topic, happiness is a choice; based on this definition, happiness is deeply rooted in gratitude.
Hence, happiness is living a life of gratitude.
Overall, happiness can mean different things to different people.
Regardless of the different definitions of happiness, there are three essential elements of happiness according to psychologists, and these include;
- The pleasant life: enjoying the pleasures of life daily such as appreciating nature, connecting with friends and loved ones, etc.
- The good life: this encompasses identifying unique skills, talents, passion, or purpose and using them to enrich our lives so that we get to do the things we love while maximizing our full potentials.
- And the meaningful life: this comes from achieving a sense of fulfillment, seeing that our talents, skills, and resources have been used for the greater good, impacting our world and fulfilling purpose.
Hence, the true meaning of happiness is a state of well-being characterized by deep satisfaction from the elements mentioned above and not necessarily in material possessions or societal standards.
Furthermore, in this blog post, happiness is a choice; we’ll move on to consider some of the causes of unhappiness.
Causes Of Unhappiness
Happiness is a choice, yet you still find unhappy people every around you.
What could be the cause of this? Let’s find out.
There are many causes of unhappiness in many people’s lives today, and these causes could be either self-inflicted or based on socio-economic and environmental factors and they include;
Meaninglessness /Lack of Productiveness
One of the causes of unhappiness in most people’s lives is a result of the feeling of meaninglessness.
They see life as meaningless, probably because they cannot achieve their goals or see signs of progress in their lives.
Hence, they term themselves as unproductive, useless, and living a life without meaning or purpose.
Thereby leading to feelings of resentment.
This another cause of happiness that we’ll consider as we examine the concept; happiness is a choice.
Self-isolation can enhance creativity and productivity if channeled rightly.
By improving self-awareness and independence.
However, too much loneliness and boredom can take a toll on one’s mental health.
Thereby leading to depression and unhappiness.
Overall, enjoying happiness is all about understanding the balance between the need for privacy and socializing.
Dwelling In The Past And Anxiety About The Future
Most people live life dwelling on the past’s hurts/mistakes and worrying about the future.
They think so much about all where they could have been and where they should be that they forget to enjoy the present moment’s pleasure.
This, in turn, leads to feelings of regret, resentment, dissatisfaction, and unhappiness in their lives.
Living Based On People’s Standards
Due to the fear of rejection, many people live every day of their lives pleasing people and conforming to their standards.
More so, they allow other peoples’ standards to influence most decisions in their lives.
Hence, they get stuck living the life other people want them to live and not really what they want.
Therefore, they experience so much unhappiness and dissatisfaction in their lives.
Destructive Behavioral Patterns
This is another major cause of unhappiness in most people’s lives that we’ll consider in this blog post; happiness is a choice.
In a bid for more fun in their lives, most people engage in destructive behavioral patterns such as alcoholism, dependency on drugs and other substances, and excessive late night outs.
While all these things may lead to momentary fun, these behavioral patterns’ long-term effects could lead to physical and psychological issues.
Therefore, depriving them of living a happy and fulfilling life.
Environmental And Socio-Economic Factors
Also, environmental and socio-economic factors such as accidents, loss of jobs, recession, loss of a loved one, natural disaster, etc., are some of the causes of unhappiness in most people’s lives.
When these negative situations occur, it tends to affect the mood and general disposition of most people.
Thereby leading to unhappiness in their lives.
Having examined the causes of unhappiness in most people’s lives, it makes sense to examine its negative effects as well.
Negative Effects Of Unhappiness
Here are the negative effects of unhappiness on people who fail to understand that happiness is a choice by being constantly unhappy.
Unhappiness could lead to the following long and short term consequences
- the feeling of worthlessness
- excessive anxiety and depression
- Isolation and withdrawal from social relationships
- low energy and productivity levels
- lack of drive or motivation for success either at work, business, and life generally
- increased physical and mental health issues
- damaged relationships
- Lack of quality sleep, stress, and burnout
Having considered the basis and understanding the causes and consequences of unhappiness, it’s time to consider the blog post’s focus; Happiness is a choice.
Happiness Is A Choice- 9 Simple Ways To Choose Happiness
For most people, happiness is a facade and only exists in the fantasy world.
This is because they believe that one’s mood is mostly affected by external and internal factors beyond human control.
Indeed, most times, certain factors can significantly affect one’s mood.
However, a recent study shows that 40% of our happiness is in our control.
More so, this quote, “The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human can alter his life by altering his attitude.” by famous psychologist William James further proves that we have control of our happiness by choosing to be happy.
Here are 9 simple ways to keep choosing happiness daily.
Our first tip for choosing happiness on this blog post happiness is a choice; it is practicing gratitude.
Gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness that comes from a deep sense of satisfaction from someone or something.
Here, gratitude is not an act but a way of life.
It is living life feeling grateful for each day.
Furthermore, it is about recognizing the positive things in your life, regardless of the negative situations around you, and feeling thankful for them.
By practicing gratitude, you focus on the positive rather than the negative side of life.
Consequently, chose to be happy regardless of your situation.
A simple way to practice gratitude is by keeping a gratitude journal where you habitually write the things you’re grateful for each day.
It could be simple things as little as having a roof over your head, being able to walk, etc.
More so, you could make it a habit to say a prayer of gratitude every day in the morning or practice saying thank you to people often.
2Practice Mindfulness – Happiness Is A Choice
Another way to constantly choose happiness is by being mindful.
This one of the biggest secrets to happiness.
Mindfulness is focusing your attention on the present moment.
This more or less like a mental exercise that can help you achieve happiness.
Most times, our mind keeps ruminating and wandering from one thought to the other, sometimes about past events or what the future holds for us.
Sadly, most of these thoughts are negative thoughts that make us experience resentment and all sorts of negative emotions.
Humans are genetically wired to think; our thought process is an important part of our biological makeup.
However, by practicing mindfulness, you can channel your minds to focus on more positive thoughts and increase your happiness levels.
This can be achieved through mindfulness meditation.
Meditation is a mental exercise that helps you empty your mind of negative thoughts, achieve mental clarity, and refocus it on more positive thoughts.
A simple practice of 10-15 minutes of meditation daily can reduce your anxieties, make you feel calmer, and increase your happiness level.
Not only is happiness a choice, but smiling is also a choice.
Both are contagious and can light up a room and change lives.
A simple smile from a stranger to you can lighten up your mood.
Choosing to smile amidst negative situations can increase your happiness level.
Various studies prove that smiling is not only good for your physical health for your mental health as well.
Little wonder people who feel down emotionally listen to jokes or watch their favorite comedy shows.
Hence, consider wearing a genuine smile on your face daily.
Not only will you increase your happiness, but you’ll also improve the lives of people around you.
Consequently, helping you impact lives positively.
4Establish More Meaningful/ Positive Relationships
Loneliness and self-isolation can greatly increase unhappiness.
Besides, no man is an island on his own; we all need people one way or another.
This is why choosing happiness has to do with building meaningful relationships and social interactions.
Love, friend, family, community are all part of what makes the world a great place to live in, and isolating yourself from these essential parts of life would mean choosing not to live.
Hence, build more positive relationships, find love, make genuine friends, value family, and communal relationships.
Consequently, helping you find satisfaction and happiness in life.
5Be Positively Minded And Cut Out Negativity
In one of the different definitions of happiness, we examined happiness as a mindset, and we discovered that our mental attitude determines our happiness levels.
This means that we can choose happiness by developing a positive mindset.
More so, people with a negative mindset and outlook on life can only experience negative emotions such as unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and resentment.
Hence, always maintain a positive outlook on life regardless of the situations around you.
Maintain the half-full rather than half-empty glass approach to life.
Even more, cut off all forms of negativity from your life, be it negative friends, social media, if it makes you feel less of yourself, and learn to focus only on the positive things in life.
Consequently, helping you choose happiness daily.
6Show Empathy – Happiness Is A Choice
Furthermore, in this blog post, happiness is a choice; you need to learn how to show empathy to the people around you.
Empathy means understanding other people’s feelings and allowing this to guide your interactions with the people around you.
More so, empathy helps you show kindness to those around you.
Likewise, there’s a sense of satisfaction and joy that comes from understanding people and how best to relate with them.
Overall, showing acts of kindness improves your overall mood and feeling of self-worth.
Hence, practicing empathy is a conscious effort towards increasing your happiness level.
7Practice Daily Positive Affirmations
Daily affirmations are great energy and mood boosters.
Affirmations are positive thoughts translated into positive words that can encourage, motivate, and elevate you.
Staying happy in a world that’s filled with so much unhappiness and negativity can be quite hard.
Hence, you need something to constantly remind you of your decision to choose happiness and stay happy regardless of the circumstances around you.
So, saying positive words of affirmation on happiness and listening to one can greatly increase your happiness.
Thereby making you consciously choose to be happy.
8Discover Purpose And Work In It Daily
One of the essential elements of happiness is living a meaningful life.
This can only be achieved by discovering your purpose in life and leaving every day to fulfill it.
By working on purpose, you develop the idea that you’re part of something bigger and that every action of yours directly or indirectly impacts others’ lives.
The sense of satisfaction that comes from this feeling increases happiness in life.
Hence, you can choose happiness daily by discovering your purpose and fulfilling daily.
9Maintain A Positive Attitude
Happiness is an all-encompassing concept.
Hence, it transcends beyond being a mindset to being an attitude.
It does not just reflect on our emotions but also our actions towards ourselves and others.
Hence, developing a positive attitude towards life, like maintaining good health, personal development, treating people nicely, working on specific goals, and achieve success, can lead to a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment.
Thereby leading to greater happiness in life.
Final Words On Happiness Is A Choice
Amidst the chaos and many uncertainties globally, people would always ask, why should I choose happiness?
For us, we understand that choosing happiness comes with a lot of benefits such as;
- Promoting overall health
- Increasing efficiency and productivity
- better relationships
- Increased self-love and self-care
- and overall fulfillment in life.
This is why we would always choose to be happy and seek more ways to be happier in life.
We indulge you to do the same now that you understand why happiness is a choice and the ways you can choose happiness daily.
As you put these tips to work, please share your experience with us in the comments section below; we would love to hear from you.
Here’s to a happier you.