Happiness is a choice. And it’s your choice.
But before you think “Yeah, right. Have you seen my life?” hear me out.
Did you know that only 10% of your personal happiness is affected by your outside circumstances? But most people think and act like it’s 100%.
Happiness is a present attitude and not a future conditionHugh Prather
Here are just a few external reasons that can make people happier:
But true happiness is an inside job. Happiness really is a choice and you have to choose it every single day.
The less you have to rely on outside circumstances to make you feel happy, the better.
Just a little disclaimer: This is not about an excessive pursuit of happiness. It’s simply about enjoying more positive moments and creating a more positive mindset.
Happiness is a choice
So how can you make better choices? How can you protect yourself from triggering negative emotions? It’s not like you’re only around happy people all the time.
Let’s get real here for a second, though. This is not a fairy dust and unicorn post implying that you’re a failure if you’re not happy at all times.
You’ll still have crappy days. And all the goodwill in the world can’t fix them.
Some negative people are extremely hard to ignore and sometimes they get to you. Maybe that’s even you.
As incredible as it sounds, unhappiness can actually turn into your comfort zone. You can get so used to feeling bad that it becomes a habit.
But with a little awareness and some practice, you’ll get better at tuning the negative people out. And adopt a more positive attitude in the process.
The information and tips in this post will help you improve your levels of happiness, but you still have to deal with “pain in the butt” people – unless you move to a cave!
Don’t let other people ruin your day
Sure, it’s great if everyone around you makes you happy. But if that’s the case, you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog.
So, what if you’re struggling with unhappiness?
What if someone close to you just makes you feel bad?
Often, this relates to their own unhappiness and negative energy. Sometimes, you can even physically feel their negativity.
Bad vibes are real.
Stop giving people the power to control your smile, your worth, your attitude and your day. Don’t give anyone that much power over your lifeGermany Kent
It takes a lot of practice, but the more you can ignore other people’s negative behavior, the better you feel.
You are under no obligation to get in a bad mood as well.
And here’s the hard truth: Other people don’t upset you, you let them upset you.
And if you’re upset, too, it doesn’t change their crappy behavior or attitude.
The only thing it does is make you miserable.
Or the situation gets worse because now you’re both grumpy.
Don’t give anyone the power to ruin your mood. Try to look for positive emotions
Statements to stay in a good mood
- No, I’m not going to be triggered by this
- Okay, you’re in a very bad mood – that’s your problem
- I won’t let you influence my mood today
- I choose to be in control of how I react and feel
Repeat this to yourself calmly, like a neutral observation, without any judgment. As often as you need it.
Your goal is to stay zen, not to get mad repeating “I’M NOT GOING TO BE TRIGGERED”
Happiness is a choice that requires effort at timesAeschylus
Every day gives you a new opportunity to be better. Don’t get stuck in yesterday’s injustice.
Don’t ruin your new day with negative thoughts about the past. Just as you can feel icky vibes from others, you’re sending out vibes, too.
You can literally attract situations, so you want to be as positive as you can.
Check out these 47 fantastic quotes about positive thinking!
Negative thinking and confirmation bias
Our brains looove to be right. It’s how they make sense of what’s going on and then they put the information into neat, little boxes.
Next time something similar happens, your brain takes out that box and says “See, the same thing happened again”.
And it creates a shortcut (a pattern) to “predict” the future. Shortcuts are less overwhelming and take less energy than analyzing every situation on its own every time.
This doesn’t make it true, though.
Download these FREE Journaling prompts to make sure you focus on the right things
Your situation and your circumstances do not define what you can do with your life. They only have power over you if you give it to them.
When you’re sad and discouraged because you “never get a break” then that’s all you see around you. Confirmation bias is very powerful.
An example of negative confirmation bias
Your brain is constantly looking for proof that confirms what you’re thinking. That you are, in fact, right.
The secret to happiness is to put the burden of proof on unhappinessRobert Brault
If you believe that nobody appreciates you, that’s all your brain will notice and remember. Imagine you talked to 10 people today…
8 of them were kind, and 3 of those 8 even complimented you. But the other 2 of those 10 people didn’t appreciate what you did for them (although they should).
Well, guess what? Your brain will remember the 2 people who proove your point that no one ever appreciates you.
It will conveniently forget the other 8 people. Because they are not relevant for your brain’s shortcut.
Use this confirmation bias to your advantage if you want a happier life.
Instead of feeling sorry for yourself because of your difficult situation, ask yourself the following questions…
Ask yourself the right questions to become happier
Say, “What would it take for me to….
- be more confident?
- make more friends and connections?
- tell my family what I truly want?
- get along with my boss?
- ask for a promotion?
- get more money?
- get the great job I want?
- build my own business?
- learn the crucial new skill I need?
- have more (free) time?
This simple trick is great to see possibilities instead of problems. And it’s asked in such a smart way that you can come up with plenty of ideas.
That’s because “What would it take” doesn’t engage you directly.
It feels like a general question so your brain won’t immediately filter your answers through “Well, that will never happen”.
So instead of getting stuck in your unwanted circumstances, start doing something about it. Look for the silver linings.
The only reason you are happy is because you choose to be happy. Happiness is a choice, and so is sufferingMiguel Angel Ruiz
How you feel is your own choice. You can choose to focus on positive emotions or get stuck with your negative emotions.
90% of how you feel is your own choice
This is good news because this means that you have the power to change your life and how you feel. And it’s bad news if you blame your unhappiness on outside reasons.
If you want to feel happier, you can. And the better you feel, the better your situation will get.
But you have to get over the “I’ll be happy when” syndrome.
You could totally feel happy today, even with crappy things going on. It is your choice.
Don’t obsess over your happiness
Choosing to be happier can be difficult, especially when you spent most of your life not knowing that you are responsible for your happiness.
And you’ll still have days when our little tricks don’t work.
And that’s okay. Again, this is not a blog post to preach life satisfaction and happiness above all.
There will be bad days. And I don’t want you to beat yourself up about it.
We can’t just ignore everything that’s going on.
This article is simply about helping you feel better most of the time.
So I recommend that you start small. Now that you know that you hold the key to your happiness, you can work on this.
Happiness is a choice. There’s going to be stress in life, but it’s your choice whether you let it affect you or notValerie Bertinelli
Use the statements we saw in the beginning so other people don’t ruin your day with their behavior.
Try the “What would it take” questions to find solutions for your problems.
Don’t relive the crappy thing that happened yesterday because it only ruins today. Instead of your negative emotions, focus on the NOW!
You can also check out 12 great tips for a happy mind, happy life.
And pick a few positive morning rituals that help you improve your mood & start your day the right way. You may join the ranks of happy people faster than you think.
To a happy week,
Improve yourself. Improve your life!
PS: Comment if you have any tips you’d like to share.
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