Wondering if Happiness is Actually a Choice? Wonder No More

Happiness is a choice
We all wish to be happy, don't we? But what most of us tend to do, is to expect it to come our way rather than take a step forward to hold it in our hands. Really, is happiness a butterfly that chooses to sit on us, or is it a flower we haven't got the time to admire? Is happiness actually a choice?
"Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again ... Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness."
― Bronnie Ware,
Author of The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying
This quote from Bronnie Ware, a palliative care nurse who spent quite a lot of time with many elderly on their deathbeds, literally shocked us! To even think that most people in the world bear this heavy burden of guilt of not "choosing to be happy" scares us, and actually makes us all think, are we following the same path? Will we be among those who will regret at the end of our lives, that we didn't allow ourselves to be happy?

A lot many people in this world 'believe' that happiness isn't something that we can choose, and that it bestows itself only upon the lucky few who have accumulated some good karmas in their past. They look at the positivity of the happy beings, their heartwarming smiles, and all the good things that happiness brings their way, and they wonder, "only if we were that lucky, but we're stuck with responsibilities, debts! God didn't give us the opportunities, friends, social circle ...," and the list of reason why they can't be happy goes on and on! But, what if we say that happiness is just a positive sight away? What if we say that happiness is not a result of life's circumstances, but a choice that is present in each and every situation?
Yes, Happiness is a Choice, Not a Result!
Young woman with flowers
We are not passing this statement out of our own accord, but this is something that has been scientifically proven! Last year, the Journal of Positive Psychology had published two studies, the findings of which were that it is very much possible for any person to elevate his/her mood and well-being by a simple step―try to be happy!
The studies had two groups, one was asked to listen to good music and not actively try to feel happy, while the other was asked to consciously try and feel happy. The results? The latter group experienced most elevated levels in their moods. Purpose of the studies: Make a conscious effort to feel happy in the moment!
Even the renowned psychologist, William James, agrees to the fact that our happiness lies in our very hand. He says, "The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human can alter his life by altering his attitude." Yes, our attitude is what defines us. Most of us think that a happy life is a worry-free life, where everything is perfect, everything is settled and sorted. It isn't uncommon for us to think or hear things like, "Every time I think I am happy, trouble or stress crops up from somewhere or the other!" Well, the news is that this will never change, there will always be some sort of responsibility, trouble, burden, commitment, deadline, etc., that will surround us; we can't change that. However, what we can actually change is our attitude towards life, that is how we can choose to be happy in life.
Tune in to a Happy Mode!
If you think you can't just tune into a happy mode, think again! This is because the happier you try to feel, the happiest you tend to become, and this happiness reflects through the success that you achieve in each and every sphere of life.
If you don't believe us, you'll believe a Harvard Study, won't you? After 12 years of research, Shawn Achor, the author of The Happiness Advantage, found that, "People who cultivate a positive mind-set perform better in the face of challenge." This probably answers how some people are always happy and successful. Yes, they also face challenges, the only difference is that they handle those odds with a positive and even attitude.
What the not-so-happy people don't do is to live in the moment, to take hold of every opportunity to be happy and elated. The truth is that each and every one of us gets uncountable opportunities to experience that euphoria that we crave for, it's only a matter of whether we choose or not choose to make use of that opportunity. The following are some everyday examples:
You are a housewife, with the responsibility of kids and the house, you seldom find the time to relax.
Your friend calls you for an outing, but you refuse because you have work to do, or, perhaps your kids are too young to be left on their own. You feel bad about yourself and continue with the "work" that you chose over an opportunity that could have made you happy. The happy beings don't do what you just did. If they really see an opportunity to be happy, they grab it. They would have put a hold on the "everyday work", perhaps left the kids with their grandma, or tagged them along, but never sulk on their choices. Irrespective of the fact whether you get a call from anyone for an outing or not, you should initiate your own happiness. Why not take the kids to the beach one sunny day and spend the entire day playing and laughing with them? You choose how you spend the time God has given you with your wonderful kids! Either to take it as a burden, or live it as if a blessing!

You're a hardworking employee who seldom finds time for family and friends because work keeps you busy.

You wish you could get all the time to stay at home with your loved ones, but you are the one that earns money for them and hence work is, unwillingly, your first priority. You may love your work, perhaps you're darn good at it, but are you truly happy? Are you living your life without any guilt or regrets when it comes to the amount of happiness that you have within and around you? You promise to spend time with your family this weekend but your boss invites you for a game of golf instead. You heavily tell your family and see their hearts break. Now, we know that it's difficult to say no to your boss, but what choice do you have? Well, you do have a choice! If it matters so much to you, why don't you include both your boss and your family in the plan? You can always have a wonderful weekend at some resort or countryside where there can be golf, family, food, and fun. You can work it out if you really want to, and surround yourself with happy faces all along!

We can give you endless examples of how you can choose to be happy, and all these examples will come down to just one bottom line―how you take your life, how you see the opportunities, and how you choose to use them! Did you know? In psychology, it is believed that the feelings of happiness, joy, excitement, and alertness is associated with the left side of the brain, while depression, anxiety, and worry is linked with the right. A study done in the University of Wisconsin by Professor Richard Davidson states that meditation may actually help shift the brain activity from right to left, inducing happiness and joy instead of worry and depression.
In a Happy Conclusion ...
If we find happiness in the smallest, little, minutest things in life, the heaviest burden, trouble, responsibility, or whatever you may call it, will be subdued with lesser amount of stress. Yes, happiness is a choice, and you choose how happy you wish to be in life; nobody else, just you!
Advertisement