Happiness: Can people really choose to feel happy?
Can people really choose to feel happy or not? There are conflicting studies and opinions about general happiness and about choosing to be happy. Both arguments have merit, but the truth seems to be somewhere in the middle. Some conditions do affect one’s ability to choose happiness such as depression, ADHD, PTSD, grief, or poverty; under certain circumstances, choosing to be happy may seem difficult.
Some people who have difficulty controlling their emotions can learn a skill to stabilize mood behavior and increase their level of happiness, provided they apply certain principles.
Choosing to be Happy
Choosing to be happy is more than just willing yourself to feel happy. Studies have identified several factors of happiness: social relationships, temperament or your ability to adapt, money, society, culture and positive thinking styles. Temperament, partly genetic, is yet another element that needs to be contented with. Below learn more practical ways that you can do in each area to make yourself happy.
Improve Social Relationships
- Improve current relationships by reaching out more often, opening lines of communication about past negative experiences, forgiving or seeking forgiveness, or making more time for your friends and family.
- Make an effort to make new friends. Take on a new hobby, take a class, join a club, or go to different places in order to meet new people. You can also reach out to others online through social media or dating apps. Don’t be afraid to talk to new people and exchange phone numbers with people you get along with.
- Invite friends and family members out for lunch, shopping, or have them over for coffee. Reach out.
Improve Temperament and Adaptation
- Practice pausing, before you react to something. Give yourself a moment to get your emotions in check so that you respond in the way that you really want to rather than having an outburst.
- Learn deep breathing techniques.
- Be more open to other people’s ideas and practice letting go of your need to be in control or your desire to be right.
Embrace or Change Society and Culture
- Embrace local culture and society if they’re a positive influence in your life. Learn, explore, and enjoy your environment and the people you share it with.
- Don’t be afraid to change your environment or seek change in your current one. Do what you can to be a positive influence. Stand up for what you believe in and speak out against social injustice.
- Choose a positive mantra and repeat it several times a day.
- Keep a gratitude journal or make a list of things you’re grateful for.
- Make sure you’re not practicing negative self-talk, and if you are, change your inner monologue.
- Watch comedies and do other things that will make you laugh more.
- Practice smiling even when you don’t feel like it. People smile because they’re happy, but people also become happier when smiling.
Improve Your Finances
- Increase your income by finding a new job, asking for a raise, or taking on a second job.
- Improve your education so that you can find better paying jobs.
- Be open to other career paths.
- Look for things you can do to earn a passive income.
- Pay off debt or avoid taking on debt.
- Set a budget and stick with it so you can have money to do the things that are important for you.
The Health Factor
While all the above points will have a serious impact on improving your ability to be happy and hold positive thoughts, the first and foremost component is still your health. Your ability to cope with stress, your daily habits in taking care of your body, and the way you present yourself to the world, has a great impact on your ability to keep a good mindset. What you eat can also affect mood behavior. Certain foods can make you edgy and irritated while others will be calming.
Choosing a proper exercise routine also will make a difference. Continuously exhausting yourself beyond your limits, will result in your body eventually running out of energy. You’ll produce increased cortisol that will lead to inflammation and injuries, thus also affecting mood behavior. Equally as damaging to your self worth, health and happiness is putting your exercise plan into action on hold by being a couch potato, or putting your body’s well-being last in a list of priorities. Examples would be until you make more money, when your website is done, or when you have more time, after all you wouldn’t wait to brush your teeth on a daily basis to maintain proper hygiene. Ideally you would choose an exercise modality that quiets the mind, strengthen the nervous system, while empowering you to be the best that you can be, such as the Body Design Formula proprietary prescription strength training system by Dr Fitness USA.
Choosing to be happy is more than just saying, “I’m happy”. It is a lifestyle that encompasses all areas of your life, starting from the inside out, with self-love, doing the right thing, and walking through the doors of opportunities without fear. Having the courage to make the necessary changes in your life will lead you to be looked upon as a fine human being.
You have options to choose from, to increase your level of happiness. Do the right things, be proactive in applying the above steps. Start with the things which come easiest to you and progressively give yourself small daily challenges, one step at a time to move past your comfort zone. One day, this new behavior will become second nature, and you will naturally feel happier without having to think about it.
Happiness attracts happiness. Smile, don’t worry, be happy.