Why Happiness is a Choice (And Why It’s a Smart One to Make)


You are struggling to find this elusive thing called "happiness". Most days you feel overwhelmed, anxious, angry, depressed or flat. Or maybe you experience rapid changes in mood.

You may remember times when you were happy, but you seem distant, and the circumstances of your life are different now.

But what if I told you that you can choose happiness? ? And, is it easier than you think?

In this article, I am going to break down the basics of how you can lead a happier life, simply by following some basic principles. These are easy to implement in your own life, which means that happiness is just around the corner.

Ready to know more about how and why happiness is a choice? Let's dig deeper to get a deeper understanding.

  • Happiness is not an idea, it's an experience

    The idea that happiness is a choice seems to be just that, an idea and one that does not apply to you. How can he choose to be happy when someone has treated him so badly, when circumstances beyond his control bombard him with pain?

    Many people feel this way.

    Each year, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network launches the World Happiness Report.

    This measures the general happiness of different countries. The 2018 report finds that residents in Finland occupy the first place, while residents in the United States are far behind in eighteenth place.

    Even though the income of Americans has more than doubled since 1972, we are not even in the top 10 of the happiest countries.

    Understand Easterlin's Paradox

    Americans have continuously earned more money, but we are not reporting an increase in happiness. This disparity between income and happiness is known as Easterlin's paradox.

    You may see more money now than you have ever had in your life, yet you are still caught in the paradox, struggling to understand why you are unhappy. 19659002] What explains the paradox?

    The answer to this question can help you understand what happiness is. Solving this dilemma seems complex: after all, it is a paradox. However, the answer is much simpler than one would expect: happiness is a choice.

    It's as simple as choosing happiness

    Happiness is a state of being that you can take advantage of, like when a runner takes a breath with it light. Each inhalation is essential, and with each inhalation, the exhalation must follow.

    If happiness is a state of being, then you could say that happiness is simply an experience, or a set of experiences.

    Amanda Pinnock is a student college at Arizona State University who experienced this kind of happiness without even expecting it. To obtain her degree in global health, she needed to do a study abroad program, but she worried that she would be disconnected from her group as a non-traditional student who obtained her degree online. [1]

    To his surprise, the other students in his group were inclusive and eager to connect. Then there were the locals in Fiji, the country she had chosen for the program. They seemed to really understand how happiness is a choice. According to Amanda:

    "The Fijians are probably the happiest and most humble people in the world, they welcomed us with open arms and made sure that we fed and had the accommodation we needed." It was not until I spoke more with the leader of the group and the tour guide that I realized that they gave us more than they had for themselves on a daily basis ".

    Many Fijians have no running water, but Amanda noticed that they felt they lacked nothing. She says:

    "They live off the land and help each other … They may not have had nearly as much money as an average American, but they are rich in their lives, and I think Americans can learn a lot from that It really puts into perspective the most important thing: the family, the loved ones and the environment. "

    For the Fijians that Amanda found, happiness is not a concept, it is the act of supporting one another.

    Happiness is the act of finding joy in everyday experiences with other people.

    The communities of people who give to each other and share the value of generosity, the value of love, a love that expects nothing in return, are the happiest.

    That is why, according to the World Happiness Report, networks of generosity and social support are two key factors that lead to happiness. [2]

    Every second that is alive and conscious, has to make decisions. Amanda Pinnock chose to experience another culture even though she was worried about fitting in. She was happy to share the experience with the other students and the Fijians who welcomed them.

    Each day of your conscious existence you can choose to support others, to accept their support, to participate in activities that are good for you.

    All these acts will bring happiness. You can choose to trust others and do things that help them trust you. You can choose to build the community around you and be a part of it.

    The art of Sisu Can change you

    In Finland, the famine killed 9% of the population during the 1860s – Hardly an event that would engender happiness. The Finns have recovered by adopting a philosophy called sisu which is a shared value of determination, determination and rational action, even when life is painful.

    Sisu also tries to push through exercises that are challenging and uncomfortable, such as swimming in a frozen river, running a marathon or riding a bike to work in the rain. [3]

    According to This Is Finland, "Sisu is an extraordinary courage and determination in the face of adversity … Sisu is incarnated by people from all over who defy the odds and they cling to wait when at first it seems that there is none. "

    Sisu is simple: take advantage of life, do it with courage and build your courage by participating in the world in challenging ways.

    Be proactive in your happiness [19659013] You can be happy by being proactive. People who choose to recover from addiction choose to take proactive measures towards recovery.

    You can think about choosing to be happy like choosing to recover from depression. As a result, exercise benefits recovery in several ways:

    ● Exercise mimics the effect of drugs on your brain (or rather, drugs imitate
    the effect of exercise) by releasing endorphins.

    ● Exercise helps you sleep better and increases your sense of well-being.

    ● Exercise helps you cope with stress, builds your day and improves your
    physical aptitude.

    This aligns very well with sisu, although sisu asks you to take it to another level and challenge yourself beyond your comfort level.

    Even if you do not take it to that extent, start small and exercise regularly and then develop more challenges. Work on making connections with other people based on your exercise routine.

    What Buddhists know

    Buddhism is particularly concerned with cultivating happiness through constant practice.

    First, Buddhists recognize that existence lends itself to pain and mental dysfunction. This is the wear and tear of the world that comes from wanting and waiting for what you do not have.

    Buddhists follow a set of practices towards enlightenment:

    Clear the mind of negative thoughts: Recognize negative thoughts, redirect
    positively, and act on positive thoughts.

    Practice mindfulness: Without applying judgment, consider how you
    the body feels and pays attention to your breathing; pay attention to yours
    thoughts; Pay attention to the "phenomena": the world around you.

    Meditate and focus: Let go of random thoughts while you are sitting and
    concentrating on one thing, like the sound of water, your breathing,
    or a buzz.

    Have compassion: Personal happiness is directly related to the happiness of others. The contemplation of others and their suffering takes you to a place of true compassion, and compassion for others is a simple path to happiness.

    Buddhists choose to live neither in the past nor in the future.

    Thoughts from the past can bring melancholy and depression, and thoughts of the future can bring anxiety. Contemplation of the present and compassion for others in the present can help alleviate depression and anxiety, freeing your mind from accepting happiness.

    People choose many creeds, philosophies and religions in the pursuit of happiness. In any situation, you can choose to concentrate on what makes you happy.

    You can choose to accept the most unbearable challenge as an opportunity to be good now and create happiness.

    Make the smart choice of happiness [19659007] Happiness is finding joy in everyday experiences.

    When you choose to include other people in your happiness, then comes the community, both in social networks and in shared experiences.

    Happiness is the intelligent choice because deep down is that your being strives for; It is what other people want too.

    When we choose happiness together, we choose to take care of one another, and the whole world opens up to infinite possibility.

    Photo credit highlighted: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com


    [1] Arizona State University: Find yourself missing out
    [2] World happiness report: Happiness report 2018
    [3] This is Finland: Sisu begins where perseverance ends

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    Why Happiness is a Choice (and why it's Smart One Make) first appeared in Lifehack.

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