Chasing happiness seems to be the primary focus of society. Sure, we all want to be happy. It feels good! But here’s the thing… lasting happiness isn’t something we can find through constant pursuit. Filling our yearning for happiness with people or things or experiences is just a temporary fill for a never-ending empty tank. Stop running on empty!
Happiness is not something we should chase, but rather something we can choose.
Here are 5 simple ways to choose your happiness…
1. Choose your thoughts! We have power over every thought that pops into our head. Every single thought can either be accepted or rejected. We get to decide how much power we will allow those thoughts to have over us. The thoughts we give focus to, we also give power to. When you are overwhelmed with worries or fears or doubts, it is impossible for your happiness to take center stage in your life. Happiness takes an unfortunate back seat to the joy stealing, insecurity producing thoughts of worst-case-what-if’s. Choose to reset those thoughts and reclaim your happiness!
2. Choose grace! Have you ever noticed how hard it is to be happy when you are busy holding a grudge? Holding on to frustrations with yourself, with others, or with your circumstances is a sure-fire way to erode your happiness. Next time you are faced with conflict, choose grace. Next time you make a mistake, choose grace. Next time you are tempted to lash out in anger, instead choose grace. When we are able to find grace in our hearts for ourselves and for others, we can much more easily find our happiness as well.
3. Choose your influences! We are inundated with input every day. The age of technology mounds information upon us every waking moment. If we are not selective with the influences we allow to impact our lives, we may find our happiness being swallowed up by meaningless chatter. Friendships, family relationships, our work environment, what we read, what we watch, what we listen to all have a dynamic effect on us. “Garbage in, garbage out.” I remember hearing one of my highschool teachers saying that many years ago. Such a timeless concept though. Fill up with positive influences and positive outcomes are much more likely to follow. Limit your exposure to nonsense and drama and conflict. It does not serve your happiness well.
4. Choose to give! In a society that is often driven by materialistic tendencies, it is hard not to focus on what we want or what we don’t have. I wish I had a nicer car, I wish I had a fancier house, I wish I had a designer handbag… and so on. Wishes and wants will not bring about happiness. There is no long-lasting satisfaction in ‘stuff’. But, there is long-lasting satisfaction in giving. Tip the tables and instead of focusing on yourself and what you should have, try focusing on others and what you can give. Something truly magical happens when we give our hearts, our resources, and our time to someone else. Even the smallest gesture of generosity can turn around your entire day. And the next day. And the days to come after that. The pendulum of happiness will undoubtedly keep swinging when it’s powered by your selfless choices to give.
5. Choose God! When our inner control freak surfaces, our happiness suffers. Our desire to control outcomes in every situation is a rejection of faith. On the other hand, our ability to surrender to God’s greater plan and trust that He will protect and that He will provide, brings peace and calmness to our lives. Happiness grows best in the peaceful meadows of a calm mind and a pure heart. We are not in this alone, ever. God has our best interests at heart and all He asks of us is that we believe. Simply, that we believe. I choose to believe.
Happiness can be illusive if we are constantly trying to chase it down and capture it like a fluttering butterfly. It is not something to be chased. It is not something that can be captured. It lies dormant within us until we choose to see it there, to recognize it down deep within our souls. It does not depend on our external circumstances. It does not rely on things or people or experiences. It is a choice you can make in all that you do. Empower yourself to choose happiness!
Today’s post is in response to Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday topic, “choose”.
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