Is happiness really a choice? Yes, it is. We are creatures who thrive on our own emotions, ones that we create.
There are ways to be mindful about the choices we make on a daily basis to cultivate our personal happiness. Most of them consist of three staples: gratitude, self care and managing negative thoughts.
Gratitude: Making Yourself and Others Feel Good
Gratitude is a way of showing appreciation and thankfulness for the things and people that are in our current lives instead of simply wanting more all the time. It helps us slow down and really enjoy the present. Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, recently conducted a study of 411 people that sought to measure the impact of various positive psychological interventions. The results saw an immediate increase in participants’ “happiness scores,” with an exercise centered on gratitude being the most effective in affecting a positive shift. Make it a habit to write a thank you to someone you appreciate or write a note at least once a month. Better yet, write one to yourself too, advised Harvard Health. Another suggested practice is to “keep a gratitude journal.” This will help you recall the positive things and actions people did for you each and every day.
Self Care: Make Time For Putting Yourself First
Self care is a true gateway to happiness. While it may seem like you are being selfish and pushing other responsibilities to the side, it will actually make you happier and more productive day to day. One self care tip that has not been mentioned in a previous blog is GOING SLOWER. Sam Boardman, M.D. advises, "In the morning I deliberately walk slower than my usual frantic pace, put my phone away, and take time to look around and enjoy the moment rather than worrying about the day ahead." To that end, Psychologies suggests that one key to becoming happier is to “feed your soul.” Christine Webber, one cited psychotherapist, iterated, “Basically, we all need to find ways to transport ourselves away from the humdrum so that we can gain perspective on our lives and our problems.” In the end, everyone is different, find what works for you and implement it into your daily routine.
Warding Off Negative Thoughts
When we feel negative thoughts and emotions flooding our minds, we have to make a conscious effort to ward them off. PyschCentral reports that one way to beat a negative thought is to counter it by simply thinking of a positive one. Then focus on bringing “that feeling to the front of your mind.” Anxiety Network suggests that the best way to beat a negative thought is to stop dwelling on it and simply live in the present moment. The best thing to do is to become consciously aware of these negative thoughts and try one of these tactics to rid your mind of them. Certain aromatherapies are also great for helping users to refocus on the happiness and ward off negativity. Essential oils like orange, rose, jasmine are perfect for promoting happiness.
If you use these tips in your daily life, you'll likely find that you’ll become more mindful of your own happiness. Remember, that your happiness is your decision. Don’t let others take that away from you.