Is Happiness a Choice? Here’s Why the Answer is “Yes”

Many people think that happiness comes from having the best things in the world. Others feel happy when they are surrounded by loved ones, or able to fulfill their needs without worries. What if you are told that happiness is a choice? That it roots from your own view and perspective toward your surroundings?

“Happiness as a choice” may sound like a cliché, but it roots in the real psychological state. If you want to experience long-term content, you must change what’s inside you, because your surroundings change frequently.

Redefining Happiness and Its Effects

Why do people think that “happiness” means having more?

Because of misunderstanding about what happiness really means.

Happiness is not a goal in life, because it is a complex concept that may be different for each person. When people focus on achieving happiness, they tend to think about success, financial excess, recognition, fame, and sexual fulfillment. When they fail to achieve these things, they become depressed and think that they are unhappy.

To feel happy, you must think of happiness as a combination of purpose and pleasure. Purpose means you have a feeling that your daily life has meaning. Pleasure means experiencing positive emotions, such as amusement, contentment, pleasure, delight, mirth, and joy. This combination happens on a daily basis, which means that it cannot be placed as a single life goal.

By being mindful of this combination, you will welcome each day with excitement and a lighter heart. When you experience hardship, you can still hold on purpose and pleasure to go through the challenges.

How to Experience Happiness in Daily Life

You can have a fulfilling life by experiencing small but constant happiness every day. Switching your mind and emotion to healthier states can help you to live a happy life. Here are practical things you can do:

  • Appreciate small pleasures

Start focusing your attention on small pleasures you often overlook. Things such as delicious breakfast, a smooth trip to work, your spouse overtaking your daily task, or coworker offering some snacks to you can make your day brighter. When the day is over, recount those small joys before going to sleep in a good mood.

  • Pay more attention to your loved one

Feeling too busy lately? Try focusing on people close to you: families, friends, coworkers. Show extra attentions by asking about their health, praising their outfits, or treating them some snacks. Their positive responses will make you happier and feel appreciated.

  • List things that make you grateful

Complaining makes us forget the good things that we have. Try recounting everyday things that make you grateful, such as your working limbs, your stable paychecks, your ability to eat and experience small pleasure, or your family. Think about people who don’t have those things, and you will feel lucky and happier.

  • Create variations in your routine

If you have a stable routine, try breaking it up occasionally. For example, try a new lunch option, a different route from work to home, or weekend routine. Breaking from routine will ignite your curiosity, refresh your mind, and renew your daily experience.

  • Practice small kindness

Practicing kindness or altruistic acts can bring positive feeling. This is because altruistic acts can ignite the part of the brain that gets pleasure from sex or food. Say thank you with a smile to servers. Buy lunch for coworkers. Open the door for someone. Volunteer when you have time. These acts will bring positive changes in your life.

Finally, try to conduct “social media detox”. Many negative emotions such as envy, anger, and anxiety are caused by overexposure to social media. Cut down your use from eight hours to three, for example (or just log off for a day). You will feel the effect immediately.

Physical Activities, Health, and Happiness

There are connections between physical activities, health, and psychological state. By being active and healthy, your body responds better to stress. Physical activities can also encourage the production of dopamine, a hormone that creates a “happy” feeling in your brain.

There are several nice ways to feel happy through healthy or physical activities, such as:

  • Start walking

Never do sport before? Try taking up walking for 20 to 30 minutes every day. Pick a nice route, such as a friendly neighborhood route, beachside, or backyard hills. Morning walk (and sweat) will make you feel fresher and happier.

  • Sleep more regularly

Arrange your schedule so you can sleep for six to eight hours every night. Good night sleep will reduce the stress level and keep your hormones in balance. You will also feel more refreshed when starting your day.

  • Try breathing exercise, yoga, and meditation

Breathing exercise, yoga, and meditation help you to achieve “mindfulness”. Breathing regularly and feeling your muscle movements help to bring your mind to the “present”. They are good exercises to prevent bad habits, like dwelling in the past or anxious about the future.

Teaching yourself to be happy is the first step to have a good life. Happiness is a choice, and you have the control to improve your life.

Overcoming Your Limiting Beliefs in 5 Simple Steps

Limiting belief is a “constraint” that keeps your mentality and mind from doing things that are beyond general belief or common practice. This mental state can act as a double-edged sword; on the one hand, limiting your beliefs may be the best way to keep you from harm, but on the other hand, this could also make it difficult for you to develop and achieve your full potential. For most people, limiting beliefs is a “comfort zone” that makes them reluctant to get out of their shells. However, if you want to be a better person and improve your life, you have to be brave enough to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to be able to do things that you think are impossible. To overcome your limiting beliefs, here are 5 simple steps that you can try:

First Step: Start from the Smallest Things in Your Life

Initiating changes to your beliefs and principles should be started from the smallest things or habit in your daily life. For example, if you are accustomed to waking up at noon because you believe that it does not affect your health, try to start getting up early to feel the difference. Although it can be quite difficult at first, changing small habits in life can bring great benefits in the future. Do not force yourself to change your beliefs or habits drastically because this resolve can harm your mind and mentality. Take it slow and enjoy the process. If you are rushing yourself, eventually you will give up and return to that comfort zone you are trying to escape.

Second Step: Enrich Yourself with Knowledge and Wisdom

To transcend your beliefs and principles, you must continue to enrich yourself with positive knowledge and wisdom. With extensive knowledge, you can think more logically and systematically so that the negative values and principles within your character can slowly vanish. In the meantime, by seeking wisdom, you can be a more open-minded person, who is easy to accept change, and not rigid when adapting to new cultures or habits that arise in the community. You can get knowledge by learning through either formal or non-formal institutions. With today’s technological sophistication, you can also learn self-taught from trusted sources on the internet. To find wisdom, you can try to read biographies of famous people or watch some shows or documenter about successful people who have unique backgrounds.

Third Step: Know Your Desired Outcome

Transforming your limiting beliefs will be easier to do if you have determined the desired outcome. Besides being more controlled, this method can also make it easier for you to measure your own progress. Moreover, by knowing your desired outcome specifically, you can quickly detect any progress that deviates from your original intentions. To get a clearer and more accurate picture, try to consult with your psychiatrist to determine the most realistic targets for a certain period.

Fourth Step: Do Not Hesitate to Question Your Limiting Beliefs

Questioning your beliefs is something that you need to do to be able to find new, better beliefs and principles. After all, there is nothing wrong with being self-critical, because basically, you are the best critic of yourself. You can start by questioning your reasons for making certain habits. For example, if you are someone who often looks for reasons for failure, you can explore the motivation behind your attitude. However, this method will certainly be far more effective with the help of a professional such as a psychiatrist.

Five Step: Be Consistent and Focus to Strengthen Your New Beliefs

The final step that you have to do after getting rid of your limiting belief is to be consistent and focused on developing that new belief you just practiced. Just like old habits, old beliefs also die hard. Without serious intention, you will only return to your old way of thinking so that the progress you make will become harder to develop. To maintain consistency, you need to put your beliefs in every activity you do every day. Thus, you will gradually become accustomed to it. Furthermore, if you still doubt the new beliefs that you practiced, you may want to try consulting with professionals or talk to the people who share your beliefs. This method can be quite beneficial to strengthen those beliefs in the long run In the end, transforming your limiting beliefs requires hard work and a strong will from within. If you succeed in doing this, you can certainly feel a significant positive change in your character and personality. By being a better person, it will be easier for you to explore your potential in so many things. Besides providing a huge intrapersonal improvement, many experts also believe that evaluating limiting beliefs can also strengthen someone’s interpersonal relationships, especially with people who are directly involved in their daily lives such as family or friends.