Choosing To Be Happy

Each and every day we have a choice. That choice:

Whether to be happy or not.

This is a continuation of my examination of Andy Andrew‘s 7 Decisions from The Traveler’s Gift.  Today I Choose To Be Happy is the 5th decision. Maybe the most important.

Can You Really Choose To Be Happy?

You may be asking yourself that question. Is it really possible to choose happiness?

You can and there’s ways to make this decision easier.

But my life’s not perfect. I’ve done things that create sadness in my life. My home life is terrible. My job is miserable. There’s no way I could choose to be happy in the situations I face daily.

This is where we mess up and destroy our chance of being happy. We’ve let our circumstances dictate whether or not we will be joyful.

Do you see this in the previous statements? Each and every one is a choice to let the situation control our feelings.

Instead, you need to take control and CHOOSE to be happy.

Our very lives are fashioned by choice. First we make choices. Then our choices make us
— Anne Frank in The Traveler’s Gift

How To Choose Happiness

I want to show you a few ways that we can choose to be happy. This will be a learning experience for me as well.

This is one of my 20 mile marches. I’ve not yet perfected this choice but I’m striving to improve. Do you want to work alongside me as we begin to choose to be happy?

Here’s what I’ve discovered works.

  • Smile often: Smiling is a catalyst in feeling happy. Go ahead, put a big, cheesy smile on your face. Now, try to be sad. You’re probably having trouble feeling sadness.

    You may be saying that this is just you. There’s no evidence smiling causes happiness. If that’s your opinion, I’m sorry to disappoint you. There’s scientific research that proves smiling brings happiness.

    So choose to smile. This is the first step in choosing to be happy.

  • Focus on the positive: Have you noticed how negative the news can be? Newscasters are bringing the sad news of death, destruction, and evil. We’re easily overcome when we focus on what the news is bringing into our homes.

    Decide to skip the news. Get rid of the newspaper. Turn off CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and other news sources.

    Begin focusing on the positive happenings in the world. There’s people who are freeing others from slavery. There’s people helping the homeless. There’s people who are doing good in the world.

    How about the wonderful spouse you have? The job you GET to go to every day. The money you have to buy a Starbucks coffee.

    There’s positive events happening all around you. Start to focus on what’s going great in your life. Before you know it, you’ll choose to be happy.

  • Go and do good: Finally, go out and do good in your community.

    Discover ways to help those who cannot help themselves. Maybe you could work at a soup kitchen. Serve on a youth ministry staff to help students who are struggling. Offer your help to a widow.

    Doing good releases endorphins that bring you happiness. When you choose to do good, you choose to be happy.

Question: How can you choose to be happy? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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