“Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response”Michael Bartel
What’s not to like about this quote? Happiness is a conscious choice. You can decide that you’re going to be happy – or not. Happiness isn’t something that will just happen automatically, it’s up to YOU to decide to let it happen.
When I first read this, I wasn’t sure… I’m a happy person – of course I’m happy automatically! Give me my kids smiling or a cup of tea or wash the dishes for me and I’ll be happy. Of course, like anyone, I’m not happy ALL the time, but if I’m having a rotten day I’ll often do something that will make me happy. I stick the kettle on (yes, tea is a major contributor to my happiness!) or I do something silly with my son, or I’ll read something or draw. Without really thinking about it I will decide to change that situation, so maybe this quote is right – happiness IS a decision.
There are also times where I’m in a right mood and I choose to wallow in it. I think that can be the right choice sometimes.. crying decreases cortisol and feeling sad can help improve attention to detail, increase perseverance, promote generosity and make us more grateful for what we’ve got. (Read more here) These sound good to me – but I’d still choose feeling happy over feeling sad any day.
Why do we want to be happy anyway?
According to Happier Human, happier people
- are more successful
- maintain better relationships
- have less stress
- live longer
- are more creative
- are healthier
- are more generous
Happiness is good for us “because it helps us be better people for ourselves, the ones we love, and our community.” I’m up for that. This seems to tie in well with the goals we set ourselves too.. because the goals we have for our businesses and our lives tend to be either for ourselves, or our others. They’re about doing something good – and if you’re happy, well you’re more likely to succeed.
Did you know that there’s actual scientific evidence to prove that happiness is a choice?
“Research is showing pretty convincingly now that happiness is really within us, it’s not outside of us. It’s in what we do. It’s sort of how we act, how we think every day of our lives” Lyubomirsky, Psychology professor.
If happiness is WITHIN you – what can you do to get it out?
- Meditation – try this app
- Being grateful – maybe keep a gratitude journal, say thank you more, read this
- Exercise – the mood benefits of 20 minutes of exercise can last 12 hours
- Sing. Heck, you could even do a dance – doesn’t get much happier than this.
- Sleep more – read this post, and then get your pyjamas on – also try these guided sleep mediation suggestions
- Have a banana – they contain tryptophan which makes you feel happier
- Read this article – 8 lessons from TED talks on how to be happy
I hope that happiness is a choice that you’re able to make most of the time.
Comment below and let me know what makes you happy.