Is Happiness a Choice?
Of course, everybody wants to be happy. Often, we think that happiness is some fleeting feeling that is to be measured off “how we feel” at the moment. However, I would argue that happiness is a choice. We choose the things and people we surround ourselves with. We choose what we do and how we do it. Therefore, we can choose to be happy, or choose not to.
Habits of Happiness
Happiness is an intriguing concept and is made up of different elements that all contribute to our overall happiness. We have compiled a list of 7 habits and principles that will help you to obtain and maintain your happiness.
First on the list is relationships. There is a proven correlation between happiness and quality relationships. Positive relationships have been associated with; longer life, optimistic thinking, less stress, and better health. There is an article in Psychology Today that goes even further in-depth on this topic.
Giving and Acts of Kindness
Giving and acts of kindness also increase our happiness. We’ve all heard the saying “It’s better to give than to receive”. How true this statement is. When we take the focus off of ourselves and think less selfishly then we are able to experience more joy because we are not so self-involved. There was a study done by the University of Zurich shows “Happiness has been linked to an activation of the ventral striatum, which has been shown to play a role in the brain’s reward system, giving us that feeling of satisfaction when we perform a pleasant activity”.
Exercise and Physical Activity
Exercise and Physical Activity has been associated with improved mental well-being and reducing depression. Exercise stimulates our endorphin production, which helps improve our body and combat illness and injury. Maintaining a regular exercise regime helps us to feel more confident and energetic. There is a great article that goes a little bit further in-depth.
Spiritual well-being studies show a close link between spiritual and religious practice and happiness. Spirituality is linked to purpose and meaningful living. There is an interesting article that goes further in-depth. Essential, there is a strong correlation between having a Spiritual connection with our Heavenly Father and proper nutrition, physical activity, quality relationships, coping, and reducing anxiety to name a few.
Optimism having a positive outlook on life helps us to better navigate the highs and lows. Being able to cope well helps reduce anxiety and drastically lowers the risk of depression. Optimistic people have less stress and experience fewer negative emotions. This article goes in-depth on the benefits of optimism.
Knowing your purpose and having a meaningful life greatly increases your happiness. When you know what you are supposed to be doing and what you want to accomplish you will experience a greater sense of confidence and assurance throughout your day-to-day life. This article explains this concept further.
Flow is when a person is fully immersed in whatever they are doing at the time. To experience flow one must find the activity challenging and there needs to be some sort of mastery component involved. For example, if an individual likes working on cars and have a goal of being able to build up a car in less than six months. The constant practicing and perfecting of the craft will keep the individual interested and motivated to continue the activity. This article explains this concept further in detail.