I don’t know about you, but I was never told that happiness is a choice when I was growing up. I wish I could understand this earlier, because the moment I truly realized that I can choose happiness, the moment I saw it as a living reality, my life got so much easier.
I know that the concept may sound simple, but I also know that many people don’t understand it fully. They kind of agree that we choose what to focus on and that we should always focus on good stuff, but then they also argue that how can you be happy when such and such happened? Or how can I control my emotions and not be upset with this situation?
This shows that you don’t really understand what it means to choose happiness. And to make it easier to understand, you need to know the following few things:
Your emotions are caused by your thoughts.
This is a fundamental concept that we need to accept. We don’t become unhappy or upset because of some circumstances outside. The process looks like this:
Outside situation -> We observe situation -> We think of situation -> We get the emotions corresponding to our thoughts.
Sometimes this process happens so fast, that we don’t even realize what we thought of the situation. Our thinking process is very fast and that is why we may decide that it is a situation that caused our feelings.
To choose happiness you need to become conscious of what you are thinking
Before you become truly aware of what is going on in your mind, you might believe that of course you know what you are thinking. If that would be the case, none of us would ever need a psychologist to understand what’s going on with them.
So you need to get really conscious and attentive of what is your thinking process. Once you start paying attention, you will be surprised by how many unnecessary, undermining and plainly negative thoughts go through your mind automatically.
You need to find creative ways to transform your thinking patterns
Once you become aware of your auto-pilot thoughts, you might start noticing words and patterns that you use constantly. Check them to see if they are positive and inspiring. If not, you need to find creative ways to replace these words and patterns with better ones.
At this stage it makes sense to look around for positive affirmations, or talk to positive people and ask them how they see the situations that cause your negative thinking, and what they tell to themselves in these situations.
You have to keep making the choice of transforming your thoughts to more uplifting ones.
This process requires time, effort and your attention, but that is exactly what choosing happiness means. It doesn’t mean telling yourself fairy tales. It means finding only productive, uplifting and empowering thoughts in any kind of situation.
I have written a few posts on positive affirmations and famous quotes that you can use, if you are looking for ideas to change your thinking patterns about relationships and life in general. Check them out: