Is Happiness Really a Choice?
Have you ever met those people who constantly complain, grumble and moan? Just about everything seems to peeve them doesn’t it? They never seem content with anything. They find something in everything to bitch about or criticize. Every day is 24 hours of hell for them. Or is it? Maybe not (There’s another blog right there).
I know because I used to be one of those people, especially in the morning. I used to hide behind the excuse of ‘I’m just not a morning person’ to those closest to me who had to endure my incessant whining. And when I say morning, I mean the whole morning. And the earlier I got up, the longer the grumpiness would last. And of course, that state of unhappiness wasn’t confined to mornings. Any small event could trigger it at a moments notice.
This constant moaning of mine became quite addictive in a strange type of way. It sort of became a part of who I thought I was.
It wasn’t until I discovered how to control my mind that I finally realised happiness really is a choice, that I eventually stopped.
You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness, said the line in the song, Somebody that I used to Know by Goete
The Misconception of Happiness
“I will be happy when…I get married, meet my partner, get that job, buy that new car, earn more money (Fill in your own blank)” You hear people cry.
Unfortunately, I meet a lot of people who do think that way. And it’s a huge misconception. It ensures people will always be wanting more. It forces feelings of discontentment throughout their lives.
And here’s why.
Research shows, that when you have achieved (Your blank), that extra happiness only lasts about 3 months. Psychologists refer to this as the hedonistic treadmill. In other words, you will experience a boost of happiness or lift of the spirits when you get what you want, but after around 3 months (It can be much less) you will return back to your former state or level of happiness.
This has been found true with all the above examples including job promotions and winning large sums of money.
Happiness has to come from within. And that is a choice. You can choose to be miserable or you can choose to be happy. Material possessions or non tangible things such as job promotions are not going to add to your overall happiness for the longer term.
“Okay, Robert, I get you on that, but what about when my car breaks down, I lose my job, I split up with my boyfriend, are you telling me I should be happy then?”
Well, I am not saying you should be cartwheeling around the garden or jumping for joy on such occasions, but after the initial shock and emotional response of what has happened, you can still choose to be happy after that. And again, you choose how long the duration of the first thoughts of misery last.
Take the car breaking down. It is an inconvenience for sure. But are you telling me being unhappy about it is going to get it fixed any quicker? Or get you on your journey any faster? Of course not. Being unhappy about it leads to deeper feelings such as rage and anger.
Why fill your mind with unhappiness, anger and frustration and add stress to your mind and body? The car has broken down. Unless you have a time machine you cannot change it. How on earth is being mightily fed up about it going to change it?
Try and look at it with a sunnier disposition and add a touch of philosophical thinking to it. How do you know the car breaking down is not a blessing? How do you know, that had it not broke down, you could have been in a collision further up the road? You don’t. You may well not have had an accident either, but that’s not the point.
It is your view of the experience that matters.
I am just suggesting looking at things with a happier viewpoint is far better for the mind and body than looking at circumstances with unhappy eyes.
(Of course I am not talking about extreme examples here, I am merely mentioning what happens in our everyday lives)
Happiness really is a choice my friends. I know it for certain. As I said, I was one of the world’s worst moaning, unhappy people I have ever met.
But not anymore. I choose happiness every morning I wake up. I literally do say to myself, I am going to be happy today no matter what. Try it and see for yourself.
Your world becomes brighter for it and far, far, what can I say…oh yes of course, happier.