What makes happy people different? They realize that happiness is a choice. Happy people also don’t allow themselves to be held captive by circumstances, nor do they seek their happiness through other people or “things.”
The big key difference between happy people and, well, those that aren’t, is that they stop pursuing the world’s flawed definition of happiness. The reason why this is the key difference is because happy people just simply stop — they make the bold, life affirming decision to stop letting themselves be duped by flawed beliefs. That is called choice.
Research supports this:
Positive psychology is concerned with eudaimonia, “the good life” or flourishing, living according to what holds the greatest value in life – the factors that contribute the most to a well-lived and fulfilling life. While not attempting a strict definition of the good life, positive psychologists agree that one must live a happy, engaged, and meaningful life in order to experience “the good life”. Martin Seligman referred to “the good life” as “using your signature strengths every day to produce authentic happiness and abundant gratification,” According to Christopher Peterson, “eudaimonia trumps hedonism.”
“Keep choosing happiness daily and happiness will keep choosing you back.” -Fawn Weaver
Of course, simply knowing that happiness is a free choice isn’t all that’s needed. Truly feeling and experiencing that joy is a conscious decision we all need to make each and every day. Knowing this, what are some ways that we can all proactively choose happiness each day?
Here are 10 conscious actions you can choose each morning, which will help to stir the happiness to the surface of your life:
1. Have a morning ritual.
Having a morning ritual might seem like a mundane, unnecessary action, but its not. The reason why most people feel frazzled and stressed is because they don’t prepare for their day — they get up late, rush around and jump right back into the rat race. We don’t have to. Plan your day and establish your mindset: “I will have a good day today!”
A morning ritual is purely personal, but you could try some of these tips:
- Get up earlier than you actually need to and spend some quiet time reflecting on your day ahead
- Pray or meditate
- Go for a walk
- Look at your schedule for the day and get ahead of it as best you can
- Repeat positive affirmations
- Stretch, relax and let the peace of the early morning wash over you
2. Try to accomplish at least one important task. Happy people take control of their lives and that means they try hard to not let external factors negatively impact them. They pick the most important thing(s)s they need to accomplish and then set out to do so — because its of their choosing, once achieved, they feel a sense of accomplishment.
3. Wake-up with a smile and carry it with you. Sound cheesy? It’s really not. smiling is infectious in a good way, because our facial expressions actually do influence our brain. So, if you’re smiling, you’re brain registers this and a sense of happiness washes through you. Plus, people will respond to you better and after all, since external influences can dampen our moods, why not encourage people to engage with us in as positive a manner as possible?
4. Treat everyone well. Do unto others — if you want people to be nice to you, then be nice to them. Happy people tend not to feel threatened by others and since they don’t rely on other people to be happy, they have no reason not to be gracious and kind to others.
5. Repeat daily affirmations. Positive affirmations are thoughts that are accompanied with affirmative beliefs. Saying “I’m clam, happy and my life is wonderful” really does work…if you believe it and want it to be so. Repeating positive affirmations does help to keep us focused on the good and the happy. Find affirmations that work for you — believe in them, repeat them and live them.
6. Count your blessings. Happiness by definition means focusing on the positive and not the negative. Set your mind on the good things in life and if you need to, write them down. Having and showing gratitude is a hallmark of happiness, so count your blessings.
7. Try not to complain. The thing about complaining is that it becomes infectious in a bad way. We dwell on something negative, building up bad thoughts in our mind and when we finally complain, we feel even more bitter — that’s also the case when we don’t get the response we want from others. Complaining about every little thing is a recipe for negativity. Instead, sit on it for 24 hours and take a fresh look at the thing or person you want to complain about — then ask yourself if it’s really as bad as you had thought.
8. Do at least one thing to improve yourself. Personal growth is vital to happiness. If we’re stagnant, we tend to feel unfulfilled. Purposefully improving ourselves gives us a sense of real satisfaction, so make time to learn something new, painting a picture, volunteering — what ever makes you feel as if you’ve accomplished something good for your life.
9. Eat right, take care of yourself. Happy people tend to eat healthy and get regular exercise. Talk do your Doctor about a diet and exercise plan that’s right for you and try to stick to it every day.
10. Embrace love, reject hate. This might be the most important daily action you can take. Love purifies and makes us feel free. Love releases us from toxic anger and bitterness and it improves the lives of others. Always wake up each morning and make the important decision to love, give, help, support, uplift and inspire.
“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.” – Mandy Hal