Happiness is a Choice
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STEP 1: Brief Introduction

A lot of people tend to make a list of things they would like to achieve. While the practice in itself is not bad, it may affect the way you think about the practice altogether.

Sometimes, making a list gives the impression that, unless you have reached these goals, you are not allowing yourself to be happy.

Instead, reflect on your life and ask yourself this question: What are the things that make me smile these days?

No matter how small they may be, give yourself a little time each morning and appreciate these things.

Remember: a key contributing factor to being happy is having a positive attitude towards your day the moment you wake up.


Happiness is a choice

We survive the worst through choosing to stay happy

Throughout history, disaster has struck humankind with varying degrees of force. While it’s too soon to tell the health and economic implications of the current coronavirus pandemic, we can take comfort in looking at past outcomes to tragedies: The outcomes have always been the same: We are adaptable, and we can survive against all odds. In his book “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Holocaust Survivor Victor Frankl quotes Nietzsche’s perspective on resilience: “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any how.” Frankl argues that our ability to choose to find meaning within suffering is what keeps us alive. This can be achieved through finding loved ones, a sense of humor, and even nature; as long as we choose to find purpose and positivity, we can make it through any pain, even in today’s times of prolonged self-quarantine and social distancing.

Physical exercises boost happiness

Happiness comes from chemicals in our bodies, which we choose to increase by proactively exercising, eating chocolate, and achieving small goals. Exercise causes us to release endorphins, a chemical responsible for alleviating depression and pain; those who spend free time doing physical activity experience higher pleasant-activated feelings than those who don’t. Meanwhile, eating chocolate means eating literal happiness, as chocolate stimulates serotonin in the brain, which then produces feelings of joy. Also, when we set short-term, achievable goals, we choose a one-way ticket down happiness lane by releasing dopamine, a feel-good chemical that motivates us to succeed. In our day-to-day lives, we can consistently choose to act in ways that nudge our brains to make us feel happy.

Gratitude is an attitude

Many find Thanksgiving to be one of the happiest U.S. holidays of the year, and it turns out there’s a science to that: Happiness is all about the gratitude attitude. According to psychologists, focusing on the positive aspects of life is strongly related to all aspects of well-being. We can proactively practice behaviors that make us happier. This includes doing things to increase gratitude, such as keeping a list of things you’re grateful for (a “gratitude journal”) or writing a letter to someone who has changed your life for the better and delivering it in person. These actions increase feelings of happiness and optimism among people compared to those who don’t do them.


Happiness Isn’t a Choice

Our brains search for problems

Part of the collection of survival skills we’ve amassed over the millennia includes defending against environmental threats. We are constantly, subconsciously scanning for problems in our immediate surroundings to recognize potential threats and avoid danger, and we release cortisol when we find these threats. Cortisol is the “stress hormone” that our bodies automatically produce when we’re faced with warning signs that our needs are in danger of not being met. Because of this, we can and do consistently feel pain and discomfort by simply going outside and interacting with the world. This is especially the case in our era of 24-hour news cycles that constantly show and tell us of school shootings, natural disasters, global pandemics, and ongoing political discord.

Money buys security

While “money doesn’t buy happiness”, it does buy time. Using money to acquire services that allow people to have more free time, a recent study suggests, increases life satisfaction and promotes emotional well-being. As a result, people with less money may feel stressed, pressed for time, and less satisfied overall.

Not all people are happy

If happiness were truly a choice, wouldn’t it be the obvious one? Yet, there are external factors at play which affect happiness levels and are out of our control. Happiness, or depression for that matter, is often not a choice; this is exemplified strongly in people with Seasonal Affective Disorder, which causes winter blues that don’t budge until the spring comes around. No one enjoys suffering, but unhappiness may just be an inevitable part of the human condition.

Mohamed Cherif Seddiki
6:27 PM
Happiness is our daily challenge to work on; it is a committment to our values, our health condition, our surroundings and all that concerns taking things easy.
9:15 AM
Yes, agree
Madhuri Sharma
7:08 PM
Every person sees happiness differently but the situations will prevail.A person can’t control the Circumstances , he can only be adaptable and be happy if and only if he chooses to be happy.
Khayotxon Shernazarova
7:08 AM
Happiness is the felling that u are living,eating and seeing the beauty of the existence.
6:09 PM
Filip Ruta, I disagree I think there are a lot of things that are out of our control
6:08 PM
Happiness depends on a lot of things that we can not control
Mehak sheikh
1:39 PM
"Happiness Is eveFor me Happiness is unexpected things happen suddenly.Winning someones heart with a cup of tea ,sharing lunch box, playing with a toddler . Happiness is a chilly winter or may be happiness is a cozy couch.happiness is a day out of the way, happiness is hangout with friends.happiness is a ray of hope. Happiness is listening unsaid stories of someone. Happiness is giving time without any reward, sacrifice our wishes,putting up illumination on others life, happiness is a "long interval "yes! "Happiness is a moment"
Irina K
1:35 PM
María J, I agree 100% , it takes effort to be happy. And it doesn't always depend on you. Unfortunatly,
María J
1:33 PM
I do not agree that happiness is a choice. It is a very simplified position. There are some basic human needs that need to be fulfilled. Health, water, food, family... Happiness takes a lot of hard work!
Wilhelm Twardy
10:18 AM
I think happiness depends on many things. But it's important to find something good in every day.
Filip Ruta
10:01 AM
I think everyone can be happy! It's necessary just to think more about what we have and to do all your best to achieve goals!
2:40 PM
Happiness depends on many factors, especially what we have from birth. Certainly, it's literally important to make your life better, more interesting and more intense as possible every day. However, in most cases the way of life established from childhood
2:37 PM
Happiness depends on many factors, especially what we have from birth. Certainly, it's literally important to make your life better, more interesting and more intense as possible every day. However, in most cases the way of life established from childhood
Angelina L.
5:07 AM
I think both approaches are correct. It's not necessary to divide them. It's important to consider this problem from two sides)
Angelina L.
5:06 AM
I agree that sometimes it's important to think in a positive way but it's not always efficient)
Kerem B.
4:26 PM
Yordam Buyuk
12:23 PM
Happiness is a way of thinking! Positivity and being thankful for each day is the most important
Elena Mikhalina
4:19 AM
Yes, or thoughts generate our emotions. But thinking positive is not always thinking correctly. The better way is to check your thoughts for logic and common sense and avoid errors and generalizations. Then your thoughts can change for the better in a nat
Adriano Maciel Cardoso
8:57 PM
"Happiness is only real when shared" is one of my favourite quotes. Family and friends are the most important ingredient for happiness!
8:49 PM
Sıla Sulu, what if the person you love does not love you back?
8:47 PM
Hapiness is NOT a choice. It depend on many factors. Money, health, family...if you are sick, no family and no money...will you be happy??
Piant Bosman
8:42 PM
Start smiling and you feel happy even if you are not. It is choice and hard work but ANYONE can be HAPPY
Sıla Sulu
8:59 AM
Every people can be happy in all occasion. It is about peoples characters. For example, I can be positive. Money is important for life but it is not everything. I think love is the most important than the money.
9:09 PM
I know people who live with depreśion. It is a chemical disbalance and can not be controled. It is very easy to say "be happy" but not in reality
9:05 PM
I notice that people who say "You do not need money to be happy" always have money haha
12:02 PM
Myron Savchenko, I agree, hard to be happy when you have no money to buy food or go to school. A lot of people in my neighbourhood can not afford school ...how can they be happy? I think only
Myron Savchenko
4:37 PM
Happiness is not a choice. It depend on many things not in control. I am a positive person but not always happy. I think you need to have condition to be happy. Like enough money and food and health. Do you agree?