Happiness is a Choice: How to Live a Happy Life and Approach Each Day with a Positive Attitude

How to live a happy life
Happiness is a choice

We all want to be happy in life. We talk about how we want to be happy, but most of us do nothing about it. Most of us believe in a lie. We believe that we can only be happy when everything in our life is perfect. We believe happiness is the money, the relationship, the job, the ring, the country home, the vacations, the beauty products, and the wardrobe.

The problem is these things alone don’t create real and lasting happiness. Therefore, happiness becomes this mysterious thing we want but we don’t know how to get.

Happiness is not circumstantial.

This is good news because we don’t have to wait for everything in life to be perfect, nor do we have to have control of everything to feel a certain way. Knowing this is a game-changer because it means we can be happy in the present moment. And something great happens when we do this: when we feel happy, our outward experience changes in ways we could never imagine.

It’s common to fall into the trap of thinking we’ll be happy only when everything in our lives is exactly the way we want it to be. And for us to be happy, we must work hard to control these external circumstances to make them “right.”

But, when we make these things happen, we want them to fill us up, validate us, or make us feel whole and complete. Even if they do for a while, these changes will not be sustainable. With luck, we eventually realize that external things don’t make us happy long-term.

If you are at this point, you are ready to make changes to live a sustainably happy life.

Self-love is the starting point of happiness.  If you live from a pure state of self-love, you’ll be able to get sustainable contentment, because your feelings of abundance will lead to beautiful relationships, financial freedom, and purpose-driven work. Self-love puts you on the fast track of finding true happiness and healing. And your job is to release fearful perceptions and develop a loving outlook on life, which shows your perfection and wholeness.

Self Development HQ | Happiness is a Choice: How to Live a Happy Life and Approach Each Day with a Positive Attitude
You’re perfect the way you are!

You are perfect the way you are. Nothing is wrong with you. These might be things you think in order to convince yourself they are true. By giving up limiting beliefs, you’ll finally experience happiness. Freedom, and your maximum potential

Happiness is a Choice

…and the less you choose it, the harder you make your life. What do you want in life? You want to be happy, right? Most people believe you’re born too happy or not. But in reality, happiness is a choice. You can create real and lasting happiness for yourself.

Every day you make choices, like when choosing what to eat or drink, what clothes to wear, where to work, and whom to love. Some choices are good, and others are not, but all of them are based on our deep desire to be happy.

Your genetics, personality, and nature play a role in your happiness.

And life circumstances and situations also play a role in your short-term happiness like your upbringing, health, and finances. This isn’t to say you will never feel negative emotions. Of course, you will. Negative emotions also play a part in our lives. But the biggest part of being happy long-term is a choice. You can choose to be happy, despite what genetics, situations, and circumstances you face.

Your personal happiness depends on the conscious choices you make and the effort you put into living a good life.

Happiness is a Daily Choice

Happiness isn’t something you chase, nor is it something you get at the end of the journey. If you’re like most people, chances are you have chased happiness by wanting to achieve certain goals, to be perfect in looks, a job or something else.

You may have become obsessed about something that turned out to be completely wrong for you. Chasing these external things may have turned you into a victim who blamed others or the world for your mistakes. This thought process is all wrong, but for many, may seem normal.

There are many happy people around us who are successful. They’re happy because they made a conscious choice to be happy and they make this choice every day. When life gives them lemons, they choose to make the best of it. They choose to see the good in every situation. 

Happiness Leads to Success

Many people think success fuels happiness, but in fact, the opposite is true. Happiness is the key to success. When you’re happy, you feel more energetic, confident, and optimistic. You actively seek out new opportunities. You work harder to meet your goals. Your brain is better able to stay focused and your motivation improves. 

The hidden secret to people who are creative, productive, and successful is their ability to focus on being happy. 

Happiness is Pleasure and Purpose

For you to be happy, you must first understand what happiness is. Happiness is pleasure and purpose. Pleasure means feeling positive emotions, such as delight, joy, and surprise, in the present moment. And purpose is about living a life which is worthwhile to you.

Happiness is pleasure and purpose
Pleasure and purpose

When you are happy, you savor the food you eat, are more mindful in your daily experiences and appreciate all the beautiful things life has to offer. You count your blessings, are kind to others, and focus on being the best you can be. Every day you are mindful, appreciative, and enthusiastic about life.

There isn’t One Right Way to Be Happy

There isn’t a set formula one should follow to find real and lasting happiness. There is no secret recipe. What works for one person may not work for another because finding true happiness is a personal journey.

To find your own happiness, you need to understand what you truly want from life. You need to stop repeating patterns in your life that do not serve you well. You must remove things from your life that are keeping you from reaching your goals. This is why set formulas don’t work. You are a unique individual; therefore, your journey will be unique …and exciting and fun! 

You are responsible for your own happiness. You are in charge of your life. While others may be part of your happiness, they are not in control of your happiness. Nobody can take control of how you feel unless you allow them to. Don’t let them!

Life is full of challenges and obstacles. There will be times when you don’t hold the reigns; where events will be out of your control. But even during the most tough times, you always have control of your own feelings. You have the ability to find joy and light.

It’s true, when you’re going through something painful and overwhelming, the last thing you want to hear is someone telling you happiness is a choice. But by being able to find that spark, that light, and the one thing you can hold on to, you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Following that spark and knowing happiness is possible can make all the difference in the world when life gets hard.

Techniques for Bringing More Positivity into Your Life

At times you may feel the only luck you have is bad luck and that negative things are coming at you from every direction. That life is terrible, and you can’t seem to catch a break. You might feel like you’re at your wits end and surely cannot take another punch.

Occasionally life can throw multiple challenges at you within a short amount of time. These challenges can be frustrating and wreak havoc on our confidence. However, it’s equally likely that much of what you’re feeling is due to your negative perspective on life.

It’s normal to occasionally feel overwhelmed, to want to give up and to believe life is something that happens to you. But, if you feel this way more days than not, then it’s time to change your perspective.

Positivity is important because it impacts all aspects of your life in a good way. It helps you to have better relationships; people want to be around happy people. Positivity improves your working relationships because coworkers want to collaborate with you. They value your ideas. In addition, a positive attitude is good for your health.

No matter how low, snarky, or negative you feel, it’s important to focus your energy on the positive. Here are some ways to bring more positivity into your life.

  1. Always Look for the Good in Bad Situations

Bad things happen in life. You may get dumped, miss a bus, gain ten pounds, or get passed over for a promotion. These situations are not the best, to be certain. But there is probably a silver lining if you look for it.

Perhaps your ex significant other was a drain on your emotions, energy, or pocketbook. Maybe they didn’t enjoy some of the things you do. Now you have the time, energy, or extra cash to do what you enjoy.

Missing a bus means you get to add a bit of exercise to your life by walking to your destination. Walking is good for your mind, body, and soul.

That extra ten pounds may be from being stuck indoors more due to poor weather. But now you can plan how to shed those pounds and be better prepared for next time the weather turns sour.

Show appreciation
Show appreciation

No matter how horrible something seems, you can always learn from it. If you take what you learned and apply it to the rest of your life, chances are, it won’t impact you so negatively if it happens again.

  1. Show More Appreciation

When you’re feeling sad, negative, cold, and alone, remember to take joy in the small things. Be grateful for the coffee your friend brought you. Feel the love when your spouse makes you breakfast. Return the smile a stranger sends your way.

Appreciate the little things. Let others know you appreciate what they do or have done for you. And when you’re feeling up to it, return the favor to show your love for them.

  1. Connect with Yourself

No matter where you are or what time of day it is, take a few moments to stop what you’re doing, close your eyes and listen to your body; your inner self.

Take note of your feelings and put a name to them. Use all of your senses to notice the things around you and how they make you feel. Notice your current thoughts and how they are negatively or positively affecting you in the moment. Accept your thoughts and emotions for what they are. Don’t try to change them, just notice them.

Tapping into your inner-self can be done just about anywhere; at work, while waiting for an appointment, while drinking your morning coffee, in the shower or even while brushing your teeth.

If it’s easier for you, set aside time each day for meditation. Just a simple quite space free from interruptions that allows you to reflect on yourself. It’s one of the best ways to hear your inner guidance system.

Connecting with yourself will give you an inner abundance of knowledge and wisdom which can help guide you to make the right choices.

  1. Set an Intention to Be Happy

Once you accept that being happy is choosing to be happy, you will instantly become more empowered. When you wake up each morning with the intent to be happy, your mood instantly improves.

You can do this by telling yourself something like “today is going to be a great day” or

“Today I am going to achieve my goals.”

Starting your morning with positive intention sets your subconscious to thinking positive thoughts all day. By setting an intention to be happy, you strengthen your capacity to be happy. You open yourself up to more possibilities where previously there was seemingly no solution.

So, start every morning by telling yourself, I choose to be happy today. Close your eyes and feel how it changes your internal self; your feelings, your emotions, your thoughts.

  1. Surrender Your Control

Control has its place, but when you try to control every outcome and circumstance, you put a lot of excess pressure on your body and mind. Instead, choose a high level of trust and faith in life.

Self Development HQ | Happiness is a Choice: How to Live a Happy Life and Approach Each Day with a Positive Attitude
Surrender your control

Tapping into this trust and faith gives you the opportunity to relax and enjoy the moment. This relaxed energy opens the door for you to obtain what you want from life; a great relationship, the job of your dreams, or whatever you desire.

When you surrender control of your rigid timeline and the exact steps you think everything should take to reach your goals, you allow greater and better things to happen.

That’s not to say you should do nothing. In fact, you do want to continue working towards your goals. But you want to give yourself the freedom to enjoy the journey and the ability to adjust as circumstances change.

When you’re not fearfully boxing yourself in, you’re able to courageously say YES to unlimited opportunities and to have happiness in your life.

  1. Celebrate the Small Wins

Happiness isn’t all about obtaining your large goals. It’s about enjoying the entire journey and celebrating the small wins along the way. Happiness is associated with the frequency instead of the intensity of people’s positive experiences.

Regular small pleasures have a larger impact on happiness than fewer big pleasures. So, don’t ignore your daily wins. Feel proud that you accomplished something each day.

Whether it’s completing all of your tasks for the day with time to spare, saving $50 on your grocery bill, catching up on calls you’ve been meaning to make or something a bit larger, take a few moments to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. Live in the moment. Don’t wait until you’ve reached a major milestone to feel proud and celebrate your achievement.

A little treat and consistency will make you happy as you work towards your big goals.

  1. Get Up and Move
Self Development HQ | Happiness is a Choice: How to Live a Happy Life and Approach Each Day with a Positive Attitude
Get up and move

You may have heard that a little exercise can go a long way. It’s true when it comes to happiness too. It’s been said that just 20 minutes of moderate exercise can improve your mood for up to 12 hours.

Exercising increases your energy levels and reduces stress. It boosts your immune system and releases feel-good endorphins. Regular exercise improves your self-image and brightens your outlook.

So, the next time you’re feeling down, negative, or uninspired, slip on your favorite tennis shoes and take a walk, ride a bike, go for a hike or hit the gym.

  1. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

If you find yourself striving to obtain something, be it to lose weight, buy a boat, get a promotion at work or some other desire, stop and ask yourself, is this something you really want or need? Is this going to benefit me or help me reach my life goals? Or is the desire for this only because someone else has it?

With the internet and media these days, it has become much easier to compare yourself with others. Today you may feel proud of the way you look, until you see the latest magazine on the store shelf telling you how to lose weight, what not to wear or which beauty products you should be using.

You are happy with your job, until you log into LinkedIn and see a colleague in a similar position as you received a sweet promotion. You love your stylish apartment until you check Facebook and see a friend just purchased a beautiful new home.

Now all of a sudden, you’re feeling unworthy. You start thinking about how you can obtain similar or better things. This is how you fall into the comparison trap.

While comparing yourself to others is natural, always remember that another person’s success isn’t your failure. You don’t have to have what other people have. You don’t have to look the same as others. You don’t have to have bigger, better or newer things.

Every person is different, unique. They lead different lives. They all have goals and even if those goals are similar, how each person obtains them will be different. Different is good.

Your job is not to follow what others are doing. It’s to do things in a way that is best for you. Buy what’s best for you. Take steps that help you reach your personal goals. Stay focused on your path and ignore the rest. Because what others are doing and what they have has a minimal impact on your success and happiness.

You are Responsible for Your Own Happiness

We mentioned this earlier but it’s worth talking about again. The only way you can truly be happy is to take personal responsibility for your happiness.

Self Development HQ | Happiness is a Choice: How to Live a Happy Life and Approach Each Day with a Positive Attitude

Taking responsibility means not blaming others for your unhappiness. It means letting go of self-pity. It means figuring out what makes you happy and how you can get it, despite other people’s actions, words and other external situations.

It means ignoring and distancing yourself from naysayers and those who are not supportive of you being happy. That may sound odd, but there are people who wallow so deep in self-pity and negativity that they don’t want to see others happy. Their words and actions drain the life out of everyone around them. 

By taking personal responsibility for your happiness, you’ll learn that your happiness depends more on your attitude than external situations. Being happy is an inside job. It doesn’t matter what negative external chaos you face, be it physical or psychological, you have control of how you feel. Only you.   

Many people feel they need others to make them happy. They have someone special in their life that they feel makes them happy. Then that special someone leaves, and the person is sad. They eventually find someone new to fill the gap and the cycle starts again. If this person doesn’t break the cycle, doesn’t learn to be happy on their own, the cycle will continue their whole life.

If you expect other people to make you happy, you’ll always be disappointed and sad. You have to be happy with yourself and by yourself, despite who is or is not in your life. In addition, you cannot make someone else happy unless you are happy AND they are happy with themselves. Both parties have to be happy with themselves so they can be happy together.

Likewise, some people feel they need certain things to be happy. However, if you fill your life with clutter, mental or physical, you won’t have room for true happiness. You need to rid yourself of everything negative. You need to declutter your life and mind so you can focus on the positive.

When going through stressful experiences, you may forget your responsibilities. You may react first – like buying something expensive on the spur of the moment and then reflect on your actions later. This is normal. Doing this means you don’t yet have the skills necessary to control your emotions when facing adversity. But with time and practice, you will.

The goal is to stay calm, comfortable, and happy, no matter the situation. To get to this point, you need to take small steps. Start by making a conscious effort to stay calm during stressful situations.

Next work on feeling more comfortable and confident during high-stress times. Finally, look for the silver lining; the positive that came out of it or the lesson you may have learned. The more you practice, the quicker it will become second nature to you and soon you’ll start to see the beauty and awesomeness life holds.

Instead of trying to gain happiness from another person, another job, another situation or another thing, look inside yourself for happiness. You have a lot to offer yourself to satisfy that need.

Remember, all the external things in life can enhance your life, but they are not the means to your joy.

Loving without Attachment

This might sound strange but loving without attachment is a crucial part of a healthy, happy life. In fact, it’s a key piece in having long, loving relationships.

Self Development HQ | Happiness is a Choice: How to Live a Happy Life and Approach Each Day with a Positive Attitude
Love without attachment

Attachment is oftentimes associated with co-dependency. Where a person feels they cannot live a full life without a specific person in their life. They are clingy, needy, jealous and may suffer from anxiety when they think about not having this person around.

Being attached means you love them because of their convenience or proximity, which makes you feel good. What happens when the person you love does something that upsets you? What happens when they leave? If you’re attached to them, you become angry, full of bitterness and resentment.

Attachment is unhealthy and oftentimes a relationship killer. The co-dependent person has lost the ability to find happiness with themselves. The person they are attached to will oftentimes feel pressured and suffocated, leading to stress and possibly an end to the relationship.

Loving unconditionally and without attachment means you and your partner can love freely. You can be happy and feel satisfied in the relationship. You are comfortable having your own space and can experience things with and without your partner. You can love yourself and your partner with intensity and passion.

Non-attachment is important in many aspects of life; with possessions, people, and even our physical body. Very few things in life are permanent, including relationships. Death ensures that, even if the relationship lasts a very long time. Accepting this is the first step to loving without attachment. When you can appreciate and find joy in individual moments, you are more able to accept when things change.

Non-attachment doesn’t make you cold, unfeeling, or hard. It only makes you realize how ephemeral everything in life is. It helps you remember to enjoy the good things and treasure your relationships in the moment regardless of how long they last.

By practicing non-attachment in your romantic relationships, you’ll find a pathway to unconditional love. You will love without expecting something in return. You’ll have genuine love with no limitations.

Making Yourself Happy

Self Development HQ | Happiness is a Choice: How to Live a Happy Life and Approach Each Day with a Positive Attitude
Make yourself happy

Being truly happy starts with being good to yourself. A few ways to do this include:

  • Become more aware of your thoughts and feelings.
  • Listen to your inner self. It’s pretty smart.
  • Forgive yourself for past mistakes.
  • Accept who you are in this moment.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Stop holding yourself to unreasonable standards of perfection.
  • Take pride in what you’ve accomplished, even the small wins.
  • Make yourself a priority.
  • Remove negativity from your life.
  • Set realistic boundaries and hold firm to them.
  • Do nothing. Take time to simply be.
  • Reconnect with loved ones.
  • Start each day with intention.
  • Find the positive in every situation.
  • Do more of what you love and less of what you don’t.
  • Practice gratitude.
  • Find joy in the small things.

Loving and valuing yourself means accepting that you’re imperfect and choosing to be happy anyway. It means working every day to find fulfillment in your life. I means looking in the mirror every day and telling yourself “I love you and I choose to be happy.”

It all boils down to you. You have the choice to be happy. You have the power to be happy.

Do you have the courage to make the changes necessary to be happy?

Until next time ~ Dr. JB Kirby

Similar Posts