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YES!! Happiness Is a Choice

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Thinkingclearly – Happiness Is A Choice.
I often tell my patients that happiness is a choice—it doesn’t just happen to some people and not happen to others.

Theni Ii telli themi abouti thei differencei betweeni peoplei whoi arei happy andi peoplei whoi arei unhappy. Iti hasi nothingi to doi withi howi muchi goodi stuffi ori badi stuffi is goingi oni ini theiri lives.

Ati this point, Ii ofteni geti somei pushi backi ori rollingi ofi thei eyes. Youi mighti eveni bei rollingi youri eyesi righti now.

Buti I’mi herei to telli youi it’si true, happiness reallyi is ai choice. It’si abouti howi youi choose to viewi youri lifei andi thei thingsi thati happeni to you. It’si noti thei absolutei sumi ofi howi muchi goodi ori badi happens.

I’vei foundi thati therei arei threei keyi skillsi thati wei alli needi to practicei ini orderi to cultivatei morei happiness ini ouri lives.
First, youi needi to bei ini Wisei Mindi andi takei ai mindfuli perspectivei ofi thei situation.

Howi willi youi feeli abouti what’si happeningi ini threei weeks, threei months, andi eveni threei yearsi fromi now?i Maybei youi hadi ai jobi interviewi thati didn’ti goi welli buti iti reallyi wasn’ti ai goodi fiti andi youi wouldn’ti leavei youri currenti positioni fori it.

Next, you need to find and express gratitude in your life.

Gratitudei is ai greati antidotei to manyi things, includingi angeri andi bitternessi (readi morei abouti thei 8i emotioni familiesi here). Justi takingi ai fewi minutesi eachi dayi to focusi oni whati youi cani bei gratefuli fori cani brighteni youri moodi andi helpi relievei stress.

Remindi yourselfi thati youi havei ai boyfriendi whoi is alwaysi therei fori youi andi doesi littlei thingsi thati meani ai lot, likei walkingi thei dogi wheni it’si raining. Ori picturei howi youri nephew’si facei lightsi upi wheni hei seesi youi ori howi pleasedi youi arei to bei livingi ini youri favoritei neighborhood.

And lastly, you need to take out your magnifying glass and accentuate the positive, not just the negative.

Sometimesi thei positivesi arei goingi to bei reallyi small, suchi as, “Ati leasti thei suni is shiningi today.”i Otheri timesi they’lli bei morei substantiali andi relevanti to thei situationi like, “Okay, Ii messedi upi this report, buti thei lasti onei Ii didi wasi amazingi andi myi bossi is stilli talkingi abouti it.”

Thei otheri dayi Ii hadi thei chancei to practicei alli threei skills—beforei 10ami noi less. Myi husbandi wasi supposedi to takei ouri dogi to thei veti buti hei goti calledi ini fori ani earlyi morningi meeting. Thati meanti Ii wasi oni dogi duty, withi ai veryi smalli windowi ofi timei to dropi heri offi andi theni makei iti to myi officei fori ani emergencyi session.

Ii wasi oni time, buti thei veti wasn’t, soi Ii wenti to calli myi patienti andi guessi what?i Noi phonei ini myi bag. Iti tooki foreveri to geti ai cabi andi Ii finallyi goti to myi officei 15-minutesi late. Buti justi asi wei werei startingi thei session, ai colleaguei appearedi ati myi doori fori ai meetingi wei hadi scheduledi thati Ii hadi forgotteni about.

Now here’s where choice comes into play.

Nothingi hadi gonei righti fori mei soi far. Ii wasi annoyedi ati myselfi fori forgettingi myi phonei andi noti beingi ablei to calli myi patient, andi embarrassedi thati Ii forgoti ai meetingi withi myi colleague. Ii couldi havei wallowedi ini miseryi fori thei resti ofi thei dayi buti Ii didn’ti wanti to bei miserable. It’si myi choice to decidei whati to focusi oni andi doi fromi here.

Ii switchedi into Wisei Mindi modei andi realizedi Ii wasn’ti goingi to rememberi anyi ofi this ini threei days, leti alonei threei weeks, threei monthsi ori threei years. Andi neitheri wouldi myi patienti ori colleague.

Myi patienti wasn’ti angryi ati mei fori beingi latei andi myi colleaguei generouslyi offeredi to geti ai teai andi comei backi afteri myi meeting. I’mi luckyi to havei thesei amazingi peoplei ini myi lifei whoi gavei mei ai breakii that’si gratitude. Ii tooki outi myi magnifyingi glassi andi focusedi oni thei good. Voilà!

Before we get to your assignment, I want to be clear that I’m not suggesting that you should chase happiness all the time.

Ifi happiness is youri onlyi goal, I’mi herei to telli youi it’si unattainable. It’si betteri to strivei fori balancei andi Wisei Mindi Living, andi havei morei meaningfuli andi positivei experiencesi ini youri life. Soi thei nexti timei youi feeli happy, notei it, enjoyi it, andi bei presenti ini thati moment.

Youri assignmenti is to practicei thesei threei skillsi ini twoi ways:i asi ai remedyi fori hardi momentsi andi asi ai preventativei happiness boostingi activity. Everyi timei youi findi yourselfi ini ai badi spacei andi arei experiencingi difficulti moments, tryi to geti perspective, searchi fori thei positivei andi practicei gratitude.

Asi ai prevention, likei bankingi positivesi fori ai rainyi day, tryi keepingi ai “searchingi fori thei positivesi journal.”i Youi cani usei ani actuali notebooki ori thei notepadi oni youri smarti phonei soi it’si easyi to makei entriesi wheneveri youi catchi yourselfi ini thei presencei ofi somethingi positive.

Andi ifi youi starti usingi thesei skillsi regularly, Ii knowi happiness willi follow.

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