Improve Your Life: Tip #6:
Choose to be happy. Sounds simple enough, right?
Having personal relationships with people who have actual mental conditions which make this tip seem trite, I do acknowledge that being happy is not always as simple as making a choice.
That said, I do think that for the majority of people it can be that simple. 🙂
It’s all about focus. What are you focusing on? Issues and problems and fears? I don’t think it’s possible to completely not think about problems as they often are right there in your face 😉 It’s more a matter of where you spend most of your thought energy.
For example, let’s say your car breaks down. Hard to be too chipper about that, right? 🙂 For a “choose to be happy” person, you deal with the problem–call the tow truck or whatever. But you don’t let the incident send you on a spiral of rehashing all the things that have ever gone wrong for you, and wallow in “why me” thoughts. You still notice the beauty of the sky or birds you see while you wait for the tow truck. Or you listen to some relaxing or fun music. Or you call a friend. Or whatever. You make a choice to “chant the beauty of the good” (my new favorite quote 🙂 ).
Someone who really understood this matter of choice is Victor Frankl. I have never read it, but I know the premise of his book, Man’s Search for Meaning.
If he could find meaning and a measure of happiness in a concentration camp, I can find things to be happy about amidst my much lesser trials and tribulations! ?
A big component of having this capacity to choose happiness, in my opinion, has to do with practicing gratitude, as mentioned in previous posts. You’d think gratitude wouldn’t need “practice,” but indeed it does! At first it might take conscious effort, but, over time, you find it becomes second nature to notice and appreciate all that is right in your world. 🙂 And the problems become less significant and less consuming…
Why wait? Notice 5 things you are thankful for right now. Speak your gratitude to God/the air/a friend. Look for things to mention in your gratitude “sessions” and you will start finding more and more!
*addendum 2020 (a tough year): I created a 30 Day Happiness Challenge.
Give it a look and jump in! 🙂
This mug I designed from my Gearbubble store would be a great reminder to focus on the good!