You’ve met her, the librarian who is happy every time you check out a book. The bank teller who smiles without any stress on monday morning. All of us have met people who just seem to be happy most of the time. Perhaps you have assumed that these people are just naturally happy, or that they are the lucky people who have an easy life, or they had really loving parents. But most of the time, it’s a different story. These people have chosen to be happy.
The happiest people are making specific choices regarding their thoughts, actions and behaviors. Happy people are consciously choosing to think and behave in ways that result in happiness. Unhappy people are unconsciously doing the opposite. Can we change our choices and demeanor? Let’s try it for a week. It’s only a week.
The following are five choices that can make a huge difference in your happiness levels.
Happy people see the glass as half full, while unhappy people choose to see the glass as half empty. It’s the oldest analogy ever. This idealistic thinking does not just happen – it is a choice regarding how you wish to see life. Optimistic people are this way because they choose to be optimistic. Instead of allowing their wounded self to be in charge with all its doom and gloom, happy people embrace their loving adult self and are open to the wonderful possibilities in life. By thinking positively, they change their destiny.
Happy people choose to be kind and gentle toward others, and themselves. Happy people have learned how they treat people determines much of how they feel. Happy people do not wait to be happy before being kind to themselves and others. They realize that their happiness is a direct result of their caring behavior, not the cause of it. They are kind, caring and compassionate whether or not they feel like it or not. They have chosen this way of being, and their happiness is the fortunate result.
Happy people do not harbor grudges toward others, even others who have been mean and hurtful toward them. This is one of the hardest steps of the process. But realizing that resentment makes them unhappy, so they choose to allow people their humanness and forgive them their hurtful behavior. It makes you healthier and happier, the research says; it makes you feel stronger. It was Mahatma Gandhi who said, “Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong” – and better about yourself. Happy people move into compassion toward themselves and others rather than into judgment.
Happy people realize what they can control and what they cannot. There’s freedom and happiness to be found in accepting however you feel at any moment. To accept yourself means to not deny or suppress what you’re feeling but you acknowledge it.
Unhappy people are constantly trying to change people and circumstances. This results in frustration. Happy people realize they cannot control others or outcomes, so they focus on what they can control and their own thinking and behavior. Acceptance of what they can and cannot control leads to inner peace.
Happy people are nonstop grateful for what they have, rather than complaining about what they do not have. They notice the many gifts and blessings that come their way and they frequently express gratitude for the everyday things. Hashtag Blessed as the influencers say. Even many disabled people who may not have the blessings of eyesight, hearing, speech or legs are often happy people because they focus on what they do have and what they can do, rather than focusing on what they are missing out on.
If you want to be happy, then you need to recognize that happiness is the result of your choices, not the cause of it. I hope you choose to be happy in 2020. Happiness does not just happen and it takes work! Let’s get to work.