Did you know that happiness is a choice and you can choose to be happy every single day? It’s not that easy. But that’s why you have to practice. And keep practicing!
Happiness, they say, is elusive. Many think that happiness can not be controlled and that they can not make it happen.
This is not true.
While you may not have total control of the situation you are in right now, you have complete control of how you react to the situation – whether you be happy despite it, or not.
By living intently, you can choose to be happy. However, merely saying that you choose to be happy today, is not enough. You’ve got to take some actions. And that’s what this post is all about.
Here are 15 ways to choose happiness everyday!
1. Practice gratitude.
Gratitude helps you appreciate what you have and shows to you that there is goodness in your life.
It also makes you feel satisfied and content with what you already have. Practicing gratitude every day will help you to stop wanting and needing more.
So count your blessings! Be consciously grateful for the things that you have every day.
You do not have to go out and buy something new to have something to be grateful for each day. Even the little things count.
Be grateful for that extra dollar you unexpectedly found in the pockets of your purse.
Say thank you for the cup of coffee that helped you survive an early morning appointment.
Be grateful because right now you are reading this blog – which means you are breathing and alive!
When you learn to acknowledge the little things in your life, you will see that despite the problems that you encounter, life is still worth living for!
2. Think positively.
During trying and stressful times, we often get cranky and insensitive. We become unaware that we have hurt the people around us with the way we said something or how we behaved.
We act a certain way because of how we feel. Therefore, when we are feeling negative emotions and thoughts, we also act negatively.
Choosing to be positive can save you from such situations.
No, you do not need to be a smiling idiot and you do not have to stop caring when things go on a downward spiral. It is natural to feel worried and stressed over dilemmas.
But when you have a positive mindset, you will be able to salvage any situation by seeing the good in things in them, or in spite of them.
Maintaining a positive mindset also encourages a good attitude. And going through life with a great attitude will definitely lead to great experiences.
When you choose to think positively, you are also choosing to be happy.
3. Smile more often.
A smile is very contagious. Why not spread that curve of happiness around more often?
Letting out a genuine smile makes you and everyone who sees it feel better.
This simple act of smiling sends signals to your brain that you are in a happy state. When your brain gets this message, it causes your body to pump out more endorphins, which keeps you in a happy state and makes you feel good.
Smiling does not only make you feel happy but your body also reacts in a way that the happiness and the good mood stays there for a while.
So choose to be happy today by just smiling!
Smile right now – right where you are! If you’re alone or a bit shy, it’s okay, just keep that smile to yourself. And you’ll see that somehow, it makes you feel a little better.
4. Work on your own timeline.
We often get frustrated when it comes to our goals because we are constantly comparing ourselves to others.
You get to see a stay-at-home Mom earn thousands in her online business while yours isn’t even a hundred. Worse, you still have a day job that you can’t quit!
You get news of your friend getting pregnant again and you are still trying to conceive without any luck.
There are so many situations that can make you feel insecure and as if you are being left behind by your peers. You find yourself asking, when will it be my turn?
This can all be avoided if you stop comparing yourself to others.
Know that God has created us uniquely and with that, we all have different destinies and timelines. You have to learn to trust in His timing.
Life is not a race. Your time will come all in God’s time.
Once you realize this and stop comparisons, you will be more content and with that, choose to be happy with where you are in life.
5. Work on becoming the best version of yourself.
Now just because I mentioned earlier that you should stop comparing yourself to others, it does not mean that you exert less effort in everything you do.
You still have to make the conscious effort to be the best version of yourself.
Don’t compare yourself to your peers but don’t stop being the best that you can. After all, the only person you should compare yourself to is you – the earlier version of yourself.
Happiness also comes from peace of mind, knowing that you are satisfied with the amount of effort you have put in a task heading towards your goal.
When you choose to do your best all the time, you actually choose to be happy too!
6. Surround yourself with the right people.
Have you spent time talking with someone where after that, you felt exhausted and drained?
That person is probably toxic to you. Toxic people are like vampires that suck out the life and happiness out of you.
It is best to stay away from people who have been nothing but toxic since day 1.
The relationships that you hold close to your heart should help and inspire you – not hurt you. So it helps to surround yourself with people who are nice, driven, like-minded, and those who genuinely care about you and your well-being.
They must also care enough for you to tell you that you are wrong when you are wrong.
I know we like to be with people who tell us positive things about us, but we should also surround ourselves with people who can point out where we are wrong. Not to put us down, but to teach us a lesson, for us to learn and become better.
So choose to be with people who make your day brighter, people you admire and respect, and people who can be brutally honest with you when the situation calls for it.
7. Eat healthy meals.
Did you know that what you eat can also influence how you feel?
What you eat affects your brain and your mood.
When you feel stressed, you may have the urge to grab sweets like ice cream and cake, thinking that these will make you feel better.
But did you know that processed and high-sugar foods are harmful to the brain? You may think it’s helping you at the moment, but the truth is it’s actually impairing your natural capacity to respond to stress.
Why will you feed your body something that’s harmful to it?
If eating can influence how you feel, then the more you should strive to eat healthy. Not only will this affect your body, but it also affects your capacity to choose and feel happy.
So instead of filling your fridge with cakes and sweets, take the better route – fill it with fruits, then eat that when you’re not feeling very happy.
8. Exercise regularly.
Working out can feel such a drag sometimes but choosing to take care of your body will make you happier.
Participating in sports is another excellent strategy to keep motivated and mix up your fitness routine. Always choose comfortable but sturdy shoes to preserve your feet and provide the correct support when engaging in physical activity.
Your physical state should be in good shape for your mental energy to work at its best.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. These are chemicals that are produced to relieve pain and stress. They also help you be in a good mood and feel happy.
Making the decision to start working out is the first step. You may have trouble during your first month but as long as you do your exercise routine consistently, you will easily get the hang of it.
Aside from the endorphin boost, regular exercise can help you lose weight and maintain a good shape. Seeing how much weight you can lose and watching your body progress into a toned and fit form also gives you a sense of achievement.
9. Find ways to help.
Have you tried helping out someone in need? It feels great right?
Choosing to help others causes a positive impact not only to that person but also to those who have witnessed your selfless act. This encourages other people to help too.
There are many ways you can do to help.
You can be a regular volunteer in church. Or be a volunteer in other organizations in the community that fights for a cause that you are also passionate about.
It does not even have to be something formal or grand. It can be something as simple as helping out a senior cross the street or helping someone carry their groceries to their car.
Doing something selfless and greater than you is an achievement no one can take away. It also leaves a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart – and moments like those are priceless.
So choose to help when chance comes knocking at your door. When you choose to help others, you choose to be happy too.
10. Use your talents.
We are all gifted with talents and strengths. When we use these effectively, we feel more comfortable and more confident.
Most of us turn our backs on our talents because we prioritize our jobs or we have other responsibilities that need more attention. However, you many be holding yourself back from your true potential.
These talents are God-given and they should be used and shared.
For example, set up a home-based business based on your talents. If you have a knack for writing, do freelance writing jobs, or start your own money-making blog. You will definitely feel happier since it will not feel like you are working at all.
In fact, you don’t even need a career to use your talents. You can use your talents even in the home – while caring for your family. Use your talents to teach your kids!
If you feel like you do not have any talents or strengths, maybe you have not discovered it yet.
But know this – it is never too late to discover something that you are really good at.
11. Treat others well.
Follow the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would like them do unto you.”
Respect begets respect – this I know to be true. If you want to be respected, you also need to provide the same level of respect to others.
The golden rule is a powerful standard and you will benefit from it. It reminds you to live a life of kindness, respect, patience, and grace.
So treat others well, not only because you want to be treated the same way, but because it is good to do so. At the end of the day you will feel happy knowing that you did rightly and good.
12. Learn to forgive.
Holding grudges leave us bitter and full of resentment. Even if your grudge is entirely justified, you still end up hurting no one but yourself when you choose to hold on to your grudges.
You have to learn to forgive, even if you are not the one at fault. You have to learn to forgive even if they did not ask for it.
Forgiveness does not mean you have lost or failed. It means you are letting go of the past and giving yourself peace of mind.
Forgiveness also allows you to have healthier connections after the event. Without grudges, you will be moving forward in life happier, knowing that the past is not bringing you down.
You get to move forward without looking back.
13. Stop being materialistic.
Money can’t buy you happiness. When all your basic needs have been met already, an increase in money will not increase your happiness anymore.
Happiness is also not dictated by how many things you have or how big your house is. This kind of thinking just allows us to collect unnecessary physical clutter.
Sure, you feel happy when you get something new but that happiness is temporary.
Getting a new phone will not change the fact that you are having a hard time at work. Getting a new car does not change the fact that you are having trouble sleeping.
Instead of rewarding or cheering yourself up with materialistic things, why not invest in something worthwhile?
For example, take a class and learn something new, even if it’s just in Youtube. Experiment on a new healthy dish. Cultivate a vegetable garden. Learn to make your own soap. And so much more!
Experiences such as these will do more for you rather than going shopping for more stuff.
14. Detach at the right moment.
It helps to learn how to be detached when things do not turn out the way you want them to. Detachment allows you not to take anything too personally.
For example, when your husband gives you negative remarks, learn to detach so that these statements will not affect you mentally and stir negative feelings within you. Remember that you are not perfect – you are bound to make mistakes and sometimes, these mistakes have its repercussions.
Instead of taking these criticisms personally, turn it into a learning experience so you do not make the same mistakes again.
Learning to detach at the right moment keeps you calm and collected. So don’t let the stress get into your head. When you choose to detach, you choose to be happy too.
15. Worry responsibly.
Ever felt anxious about something where you physically felt sick only to find out at the end of the day that it was no big deal? You just stressed out yourself for nothing!
To be happy, you need to worry responsibly. This means do not sweat on the small stuff!
When something comes up, do a step back and ask yourself: Will this matter in a week? Will I even remember that this happened?
If the answer is “no” then do not fret about it!
Happiness IS a choice.
Remember, for every minute you spend ruminating a negative thought or experience, you are losing out on the chance to be happier.
As you can see, getting to a happier state of mind is not as difficult as it seems.
You have the power to choose to be happy! Use that power wisely. Make the right choices starting today.
Looking for more tips to be happier? Check out these related articles!
- Living in the Moment: How to Enjoy the Present
- How to Declutter Your Life and Live More!
- Minimalism: What Is It and How Do You Start?