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Is Happiness a Choice?

happiness

While moods and emotions are in part determined by genetics and the way that we have been brought up, a large percentage of the happiness that we experience in indeed within our control. We all experience happiness to some degree, and this is our ‘set level’ if you like of happiness. By altering the way we look at life, or when we change our attitude to life in general we can greatly influence the levels of happiness that we experience. Happiness is indeed a conscious choice, the levels of happiness that we experience on a daily basis are within our control.

Taking Control of Your Own Happiness

Simple changes to attitude can boost happiness levels immensely. Listening to ‘happy’, up beat music can alter a mood significantly. Choose to listen to this music with the mindset that it will make you happy and BOOM your mood is lifted and you feel happy. Happy people are those that have made happiness into one of their life goals. The seek out opportunities that will increase their happiness levels. These people are in general good self managers, with good communication skills. They live and work in environments which are mood enhancing. The happiest people are those that hold personal growth a priority, see truth and honesty as the right way to live, and live a positive life.

Humans inherently have the ability to seek out the worst in every situation, we tend to see a negative outcome to a situation before ever considering a positive one. Many neuropsychologists have labelled this a ‘negativity bias’ and in order to counter this effect we have to start reprogramming ourselves to look for the good in every situation before the bad, lingering on and appreciating all of the positive moments however small they may be. We are surrounded by opportunities everyday in which we can choose to be happy, it is a case of registering these moments, and using them.

Choosing happiness is about being mindful. Meditation for example is known to boost feelings of peace, contentment and happiness. Research has shown that practising meditation regularly can help to rewire the brain, shifting the focus away from the right frontal area of the brain which is associated with the negativity bias, to the left which is linked to joy, alertness, excitement and happiness. Think positive thoughts and you will start to smile. The simple act of smiling is known to improve mood, though not a fake smile for the sake of it. A forced smile will result in a worsening mood! A genuine smile, based on positive thoughts is a good way to start choosing to be happy.

Happiness levels are also increased when be show gratitude and thankfulness in our daily lives; when we take joy in the little things that we often take for granted, happiness is never far away. So create a positive mindset, recognise and celebrate moments of happiness and pleasure through the day and make happiness something that you choose for your future.

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