The Choice of Happiness
What is happiness? Is it an emotion? A state of mind? A choice?
Happiness is often thought of as an emotion, something that just happens to us. We might say, “I’m feeling happy,” or “I’m in a good mood.” But if happiness is only an emotion, then it’s out of our control. Emotions come and go, after all. They’re not something we can just make happen at will.
However, what if happiness isn’t just an emotion? What if it’s also a state of mind? A choice?
2. What is happiness?
One definition of happiness is “a state of well-being and contentment.” Notice that this definition doesn’t mention emotions. It’s possible to have positive emotions without feeling happy. For example, you might feel excited about upcoming plans, but if you’re also anxious or stressed about those plans, you’re not going to be in a state of well-being and contentment.
So, if happiness is a state of well-being and contentment, then it’s something we can strive for regardless of our current emotional state. We can choose to be happy, even when we’re not feeling particularly happy at the moment.
3. Happiness is a choice
You might be thinking, “Wait a minute. How can I choose to be happy? My emotions are out of my control.” But remember, happiness isn’t just an emotion. It’s also a state of mind. And like any other state of mind, it’s something we can choose to cultivate.
Think about it this way: emotions are like the weather, they’re constantly changing. But our state of mind is like the climate. It may fluctuate from day to day (or even moment to moment), but in general, it stays pretty consistent. Just as we can’t control the weather, we can’t control our emotions. But just as we can control the climate (by choosing where to live, for example), we can control our state of mind (by choosing how to think and what to focus on).
4. Why is happiness important?
You might be wondering why bother choosing happiness? After all, emotions are just feelings, right? What difference does it make whether I’m feeling happy or not?
Actually, our emotions make a big difference in our lives. Studies have shown that happy people are more likely to:
– Be successful in their careers
– Get married and stay married
– Enjoy better physical health
– Live longer
So if you want to be successful, healthy, and long-lived, happiness is a pretty good place to start!
5. How can you choose happiness?
Now that we know why happiness is important and that it’s something we can choose, how do we actually go about choosing it? Here are a few suggestions:
– Be grateful for what you have: One way to become happier is to focus on what you’re grateful for instead of what you’re lacking. When you start seeing all the good in your life (no matter how small), you’ll be amazed at how much happier you become.
– Find your purpose: Another way to choose happiness is to figure out what your purpose is and start working towards it. When you have a goal to strive for, something to wake up for in the morning, it’s a lot easier to be happy.
– Be kind to yourself: A lot of us are our own worst critics. We’re always putting ourselves down and beating ourselves up for our mistakes. But if you can learn to treat yourself with compassion and understanding, you’ll find it a lot easier to be happy.
– Spend time with positive people: The people we spend the most time with have a big influence on our state of mind. If we’re constantly around negative people, it’s going to be harder to feel happy. But if we’re around positive people who support and inspire us, it’s a lot easier.
Happiness is a choice. It’s something we can cultivate regardless of our current emotional state. And it’s important, because happy people are more likely to be successful, healthy, and long-lived.
So if you want to be happy, start by being grateful for what you have, finding your purpose, being kind to yourself, and spending time with positive people.