It’s true what they say about happiness being a choice. My mother always told me that you have to make your own happiness, that you can’t rely on anyone else to provide it for you. And she was right. Being happy is a choice we have to make for ourselves, no one else can do that for us. Just as your inner peace comes from a place deep within your heart, so too does your happiness and it’s completely up to you whether or not you let it out.
Like anything worth having, happiness takes work. It comes from the choices you make, the attitudes you have toward life and living. Happiness can be long-lasting or it can be fleeting… again, it’s your choice.
So, what choices should you be making in order to ensure long-lasting happiness?
1. Choose to have a positive attitude.
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Sir Winston Churchill
Looking for the good in everyone and everything around you is a sure way to help you feel happier. Think of the old “glass half full” scenario. Wouldn’t you feel happier thinking that your glass is half full rather than feeling sad that it is half empty?
It’s the same with your life. Choosing to see your life as filled with possibilities is going to leave you with a much happier feeling than looking at your life as half over and lamenting missed opportunities. That’s just depressing. When you look at it with a positive point of view, you will see that missed opportunities were missed for a reason… there’s something better just around the corner.
2. Choose to let the past go.
It’s very hard to be happy when you are filled with anger and resentment over something that happened in the past. I know a few people who have grown up to be very bitter because they can’t get past things that have happened in their childhood. As a result there is no room for happiness in their lives because they choose to hang on to the past instead of letting it go.
Once you choose to let the past go and forgive the people involved, you open the door to much more happiness for yourself.
3. Choose to accept that there are going to be things you just can’t change.
“I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.” – Aldous Huxley
How much of your happiness is wasted trying to change things or people that you have absolutely no control over? As humans, it’s in our nature to want to control everything around us. Whether it’s people or situations, the sooner you can accept that there are going to things you just can’t change, the more room you leave in your heart for happiness.
4. Choose to be grateful.
Gratitude and happiness go hand in hand. When you are grateful for all the good things in your life, you can’t help but feel happy to have them there. Choosing to be grateful for all the little blessings and miracles in your life opens you up to receiving and accepting even more blessings and miracles.
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is to keep a gratitude journal. Take five or ten minutes in the morning and again before you go to bed and write down everything you are grateful for. You might struggle at first, but the more often you consciously stop and think about the things in your life you have to be grateful for it will become so easy that you’ll have trouble stopping after five or even ten minutes of writing.
5.Choose to help others.
“You cannot always have happiness, but you can always give happiness. ” ~Author Unknown
When you choose to help others, you are also helping yourself at the same time even if you don’t realize it. It doesn’t even have to be anything big; sometimes all it takes is a smile or a kind word to someone who’s having a bad day that helps them get through it.
When you make choices such as these, to embrace the positive pieces of your life and be grateful for them, you open yourself up to more happiness and a more fulfilling life. You have made the choice to be happy!