Everyone is always looking for ways to experience happiness. It’s raved about in many podcasts and self-help books alike. The main topic of Ted Talks and conferences.
We all look to BE happy, but nobody truly ever can find it. Why is this? It is because happiness is a choice. You won’t just BE happy, you CHOOSE happiness.
How Do You Choose Happiness?
Choosing happiness is somewhat of an ethical decision. It’s like choosing to be sad or angry at something.
However, just because you CHOOSE to be happy doesn’t mean that you will necessarily experience happiness right away. It can take multiple steps.
For instance, in a situation where your first natural reaction is to feel angry or upset, you stop and catch yourself.
You realize that you want to take the high road. This is good, you are aware of your feelings and how you are reacting.
You can still feel angry or sad for a period of time, but choose to work through that to happiness.
Choose to not dwell on it. This is what choosing happiness truly means.
It is important to note that while we are talking about this topic, know that not everything is black and white.
We as humans can not experience happiness in every situation.
It is perfectly healthy to experience other emotions, even the negative ones, regularly.
It is up to us to seize the opportunity to take the higher road of happiness whenever we can. Sometimes this choice isn’t always possible.
This is OK, it just makes the times of choosing happiness that much more worth it!
How Is Happiness a Choice?
Happiness is a choice, however, it can be a harder choice to make for some versus others. If you get into the science-side of things.
Those who suffer from anxiety or depression may experience a lot of trouble choosing happiness in situations that the average person would have no problem doing.
This doesn’t mean that it is impossible, but rather that they have to work a little bit harder for it.
This can be quite exhausting mentally, so they need to be given some grace for their actions! This teaches us not to judge a book by its cover.
15 Ways to Choose Happiness
1. Choose how you react to situations.
It’s not about WHAT happens to us in life, but it’s how you choose to REACT to it. Look at truly happy people.
Many of them have faced extreme adversities such as battling a disease, the death of a loved one, or something that has harmed their appearance–yet they still find happiness.
Look at what is happening to you and react in a way to bring yourself peace.
2. Choose your tribe.
You are the makeup of the 5 people you surround yourself with the most. Finding some of those people to be toxic friends or family?
It may be time to sit down and have a talk with them about how they are affecting your life. Try to work out a plan for your relationship.
If they refuse to cooperate, kindly tell them that you need to protect your energy unless they want to compromise. Most people won’t like this, but it is often necessary for true happiness.
3. Choose activities that truly align with who you are.
Your hobbies and things that you do outside of school or your career should reflect who you are as a person. They should also be enjoyable.
Whether that be volunteering at an animal shelter or soup kitchen.
Taking a scrapbooking class, participating in sports or hiking. Pick things that resonate with who you are, and build upon those things.
4. Choose to smile.
It takes more muscles to frown than to smile! Even if you aren’t feeling great, try simply smiling.
It is shown to release feel-good endorphins and can honestly help you fake it until you make it!
5. Choose to look at the glass half full.
Optimism is a key factor in happiness. Choosing to look at the bright side in situations can help with your overall happiness.
Happy folks tend to find the good aspects of a situation, no matter how grueling it can look on the outside.
6. Choose to embrace change.
Change is inevitable in life. There are two people in this world. Those who hate change and are bitter, and those who adapt with the times and embrace it.
Change can be uncomfortable, nobody likes it, but change is good. Think of what society would be today if we never progressed beyond being cavemen!
7. Choose to take care of and honor your body.
Making small changes to drink more water, move your body, and eat more whole nutrient-dense foods can work wonders.
Not only will you feel better which leads to happiness, but you will look a lot better too! Your skin will glow, you will feel more confident in your body, and you will feel strong!
8. Choose to always do the right thing.
Choosing to do the right thing in some situations can be challenging.
However, when it is all said and done, knowing that you did the right thing will help ease your conscience.
Creating a track record of choosing what is right gives you a sense of righteousness and in the long run, will bring happiness.
9. Choose love.
Many people don’t experience love from others–and they are broken. It’s amazing what choosing kindness and small acts of love can do for a person.
Not only will it make THEM feel good, but it will also make you feel good as well.
10. Choose to get out in nature.
Being out in nature just even 15 minutes a day is shown to improve happiness. Get out in the sunshine and soak up some vitamin D (which many of us are deficient in!).
Being in nature has a truly calming and meditative effect. Breathing the fresh air, getting the movement in, seeing some furry friends.
It is a great chance to clear your mind, whether you hike at a state park or simply go to your own backyard.
11. Choose to be present.
You cannot control what happened in the past, and what is happening RIGHT NOW controls your future, so focus on the present moment!
Don’t constantly worry about what you did a few months or even years ago. And don’t worry about what you WILL be. Focus on you right here and right now.
Choose to show up and be your best self every day and every moment.
12. Choose how you present your living space.
The environment in which you live can have a real impact on your mood and happiness.
Is your room cluttered?
Are the walls a color you hate?
Do these thoughts clog up your mind?
It may be time for a makeover! A fresh coat of paint and some furniture rearranging can work wonders. Get a wonderful smelling candle that brings you joy. Fill your room/home with things that represent who you are. Things that make you proud and bring joy.
13. Choose when to say no.
You can’t always be a yes man. You cannot pour from an empty cup.
It takes a lot of strength to politely say no to someone if you don’t want to do something, but in the end, you will end up happier.
Reserve your time and energy for things that matter to you, and don’t waste them trying to impress.
14. Choose to express yourself.
In this day and age, it is a better time than ever to express yourself. Be who you want. Dye your hair a funky color or try thrifting some clothes.
Take up that hobby you’ve been meaning to start. Once you truly express who you are without caring what others think of you–it is a freeing experience that brings great joy.
15. Choose when to give (and receive).
Giving is one of the number one things that bring joy. Give to others what you can–it doesn’t have to be physical either.
Give your time, your talents, a few kind words. Also, choose when to receive. You matter!
You deserve to be gifted things if people want to give. Be grateful for what you have and what you receive and you will experience true happiness.
As you can see, happiness is ultimately a choice. It isn’t an instant thing. It takes time to develop the right attitude to choose happiness in even the most difficult situations.
However, this doesn’t mean that it is impossible! It is also important to note that choosing happiness can be more difficult for some versus others. For instance, those with mental illness may struggle more than the average person.
Everyone can achieve happiness to some degree in their everyday lives. You just have to start small and build habits over time.
Know that happiness isn’t a constant. It is important to experience all emotions, including the negative ones. It makes experiencing happiness that much more worth it.
It’s just up to you to know when you have the opportunity to choose happiness over everything else. How do you choose to be happy? Share in the comments below!