Happiness Is A Choice

Doesn’t matter what life throws at you, you ultimately decide how it affects you – choose happiness!

In my last post we looked at what it takes to STAY happy.

In the essence of getting it right, we’ll be looking at different aspects of how to stay happy and explore them a little.

Today we’ll look at happiness being a choice that we can make.

Let’s face it, positive people are great to be around! Try thinking of your closest friends and who you most enjoy being around and spending time with – 9 out of 10 times that person is positive, upbeat, fun, motivating and happy…am I right?

Being around happy people makes us happy, I know it makes me happy and I find that more and more I choose to spend more time with positive people and just cut out the negatives.

I work a full time job, I study, I network, I visit clients at the weekend, I host workshops, I blog…My ‘free’ time in hours does not amount to much and around my current commitments I like to choose spending the precious free moments I have with people that make me smile. More than that, I want to become one of those positive people too!

So how is it that some people are just so happy? Is it because they have more money, more time, a life partner, a great job or do they have a perfect body and a great social life?

Actually its none of those things, those blessings are in fact a side effect of choosing to be a happy and positive person despite the hurdles and challenges life throws in your path!

Don’t shake your head just yet – stick with me and let’s look at this.

Choosing happiness is a choice someone makes, not once in a lifetime or once a week but every moment of every day. That’s not saying happy people don’t have difficult, trying and testing moments but it’s in the way that they handle those moments that keeps them in the positive.

It’s not what happens to you but HOW you deal with it that counts.

Let’s take an example almost everyone has had happen to them at some point in their life – you’re happy standing in line at the supermarket/bank/concert and someone rudely cuts in.

Even the thought of it is annoying huh?!

So now you’re with me, let’s look at two separate scenarios:

Someone cuts in….

  1. You could show your annoyance and express your displeasure at their lack of consideration, if you’re lucky and they agree they’re in the wrong they’ll move to the back of the line or as is most cases they’ll find a way to annoy you more and get into an argument – either way, your moment/morning/day is now ruined! Your mood is now negative, you get to the front of the line and instead of completing your task with the feeling of fulfilment as you go on about your day that negative argumentative energy bleeds into the next moment and the next and the next….until you catch yourself and turn it off.
  1. Alternatively, you could decide and think to yourself ‘Ok this person has cut in, now what?’ In a positive and non-confrontational way you ask if they’re aware of the line and more often than not, (because people hate to be made to look guilty in public) they’ll move to the back of the line, they smile, you smile. You continue to check your phone/read your book/listen to music and get to the front of the line, complete your task and go on about your day as normal.

So what’s the difference here?

In the second example you make a choice in that moment to approach the situation you are faced with in a positive way and because of that, someone cutting in line has no impact on the next moment of your day.

Choosing how you handle a situation can mean the difference between a calm experience and an awful day.

Nobody chooses to be unhappy, down or angry. Situations we are presented with spark a split second decision in our minds that will determine how we handle the situation and this decision determines the result of our mood.

Yes, it takes time. It takes effort and it takes practice but it’s worth it!

Why not try it next time a situation presents itself – catch yourself before you react and see how it plays out.

I’d love to hear about your experiments and I am confident the more you do it and the better you will feel because with every decision you will consciously be choosing happiness!

Get in touch…

Staying Happy Takes Work

Let’s start at the beginning…

What is happiness?

The dictionary defines it as the state of being happy.

definition of happiness

OK, that’s great, but what is happy? Happy is the feeling we get when feeling pleasure, joy, delight, satisfied, blessed….so in essence ‘good’ feelings!

Things that make us happy can vary, a cup of tea, a cool breeze on a hot summer’s day, a parking spot opening up just as you pull into a parking lot, a phone call from a friend out of the blue, a stranger smiling as you get on an elevator, someone getting up and leaving you a seat just as you get onto the tube, a surprise vacation or winning a competition. Whether big or little, happy moments do bring joy but that happy feeling doesn’t stay very long. Life happens, a heel gets scuffed, you miss a train, a deal you’re working really hard on falls through, your date doesn’t show up or you break a nail. Life happens and the joy falls away giving room to sadness, anger, frustration or maybe feelings of rejection and self-doubt.

Life happens to all of us all the time – I’ve yet to see, meet or speak to someone who has EVERYthing going their way but I do have the honour and pleasure of knowing some pretty amazing people who are the most upbeat and positive I have come across. In watching them, learning from them and the conversations we share, it has helped me to become a more positive and upbeat person and although I still have my moments of panic and anxiety or pure disappointment, I can now see that I am a lot happier now that I consciously choose to face each challenge with a smile.

I’ve been lucky enough to have had the opportunity in July to spend a lot of time with some of my most amazing friends and over our dinners, barbeques, lunches, drinks and coffee chats I realised that staying happy, upbeat and positive is actually a full time job that allows everyone and everything in your life to just be better, feel better and look better.

In the spirit of giving back and paying it forward I thought I’d share what I’ve learnt about living life in a happy and positive way:

  • Happiness is a choice
  • Happiness can be learnt
  • Happiness requires effort
  • Happiness takes training and practice
  • Staying happy takes continuous work

In the next few posts we’ll dig deeper and look into these points a bit more in detail but in the meantime, here’s something you can use right now to bring you a little burst of happiness. Close your eyes and think of the last thing/person that made you smile and re live that moment – I bet you’re smiling again!

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