“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” —Abraham Lincoln
Your external circumstances predict only 10% of your happiness
We can acquire skills which can help rewire our brain to become happier. According to Richard Davidson, Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, at the University of Wisconsin, people who trained their brain for 30 minutes a day showed actual changes in both their brains and behavioral patterns.
If you feel depressed, or your life doesn’t make sense right now, you are not alone. Many people have feelings of self-hate, regret and depression.
So what’s the real problem?
What’s the source of this unhappiness?
Could it be that we’re all looking for answers in the wrong places?
Happiness is a way of life, not a destination. So many of us approach happiness as a goal:“we have to get happy to be happy.” But happiness is not “out there” somewhere; it’s already inside of us. It’s our job to remove the barriers, limiting beliefs, fears and insecurities keeping us from accessing the lasting joy. But this removal process can be fun. It can be play. The more we access our own source of happiness, the happier we’ll be.
Consider this list of few Intentional Actions to Choose Happiness Today. Embrace one new action item. Practice all of them… or simply use them as inspiration to discover your own.
- Count your blessings. Happy people choose to focus on the positive aspects of life rather than the negative. They set their minds on specific reasons to be grateful.
- Carry a smile.A smile is a wonderful beautifier. But more than that, studies indicate that making an emotion-filled face carries influence over the feelings processed by the brain. Our facial expression can influence our brain in just the same way our brains influence our face. In other words, you can actually program yourself to experience happiness by choosing to smile.
- Wake up on your terms. Most of us have alarm clocks programmed because of the expectations of others: a workplace, a school, or a waking child. That’s probably not going to change. But that doesn’t mean we have to lose control over our mornings in the process. Wake up just a little bit early and establish an empowering, meaningful, morning routine. Start each day on your terms. The next 23 hours will thank you for it.
- Hold back a complaint. The next time you want to lash out in verbal complaint towards a person, a situation, or yourself, don’t. Instead, humbly keep it to yourself. You’ll likely diffuse an unhealthy, unhappy environment. But more than that, you’ll experience joy by choosing peace in a difficult situation.
- Accomplish one important task. Because happy people choose happiness, they take control over their lives. They don’t make decisions based on a need to pursue joy. Instead, they operate out of the satisfaction they have already chosen. They realize there are demands on their time, helpful pursuits to accomplish, and important contributions to make to the world around them. Choose one important task that you can accomplish each day. And find joy in your contribution.
- Eat a healthy meal/snack. We are spiritual, emotional, and mental beings. We are also physical bodies. Our lives cannot be wholly separated into its parts. As a result, one aspect always influences the others. For example, our physical bodies will always have impact over our spiritual and emotional well-being. Therefore, caring for our physical well-being can have significant benefit for our emotional standing. One simple action to choose happiness today is to eat healthy foods. Your physical body will thank you… and so will your emotional well-being.
- Meditate. Find time alone in solitude. As our world increases in speed and noise, the ability to withdraw becomes even more essential. Studies confirm the importance and life-giving benefits of meditation. So take time to make time. And use meditation to search inward, connect spiritually, and improve your happiness today.
- Search for benefit in your pain. This life can be difficult. Nobody escapes without pain. At some point—in some way—we all encounter it. When you do, remind yourself again that the trials may be difficult, but they will pass. And search deep to find meaning in the pain. Choose to look for the benefits that can be found in your trial. At the very least, perseverance is being built. And most likely, an ability to comfort others in their pain is also being developed.