I choose happiness almost every day. I say almost because, sometimes, reality is too much to bear. Some days the crushing weight of all the bad news in the world combined with bad news closer to home make ear-to-ear grinning happiness impossible.
Day-to-day irritations don’t matter
But most days I can let the day-to-day irritations fade into the background and choose to be happy. Yes, the dog ate something in the yard that didn’t agree with him – all over the rug. And gas went up another dime a gallon. And we had to deal with another unhappy customer wondering why the supply chain issues affected her order.
But those things aren’t enough to make me choose anything other than happiness.
Think of your happiness as a muscle
Happiness is like a muscle. Use it or lose it. Now, I don’t mean the chocolate cake type of happiness. I mean the deep-down, central to my soul kind of happiness. Yes, chocolate cake will make my taste buds very happy while I’m eating it, but a half hour later it’s a memory. But the happiness I feel when I think of my family, my dogs, my health, the little plants starting to grow outside – that doesn’t go away.
You’re probably laughing to yourself, thinking, “This Fran is a nut. I can’t choose happiness like I would choose a pair of shoes!”
To which I say, “Why not?”
Take responsibility for your own happiness
Deepak Chopra, one of the leading voices in well-being, says that we should take responsibility for our own happiness. It is in our power to be happy. If we leave it to others to make us happy, we can never be happy if we’re alone. That is unacceptable to me. I’m an introvert and I like being by myself much of the time. I like to be happy, so I choose happiness for myself.
I’ve written about how that happiness comes about in the past. And many times it’s not simply, “OK. I’m happy now.” Sometimes that works, but not very often. What usually does work for me is just closing my eyes and thinking about all the great stuff I have now in my life. I disregard the not-great stuff, because some of that will always be there and there’s not a whole lot I can do about it.
Or I put on my workout clothes and move. Exercise is a great mood-lifter. After exercise I always feel better than I did before. I not only feel happier but I feel less stressed. And after a shower I feel better still.
If you’re feeling blue, you can do something about it. Choose happiness.