Life is full of dynamic movements. There are ups and downs, as well as highs and lows, which create the complex situations that we all navigate daily. Balancing our careers, families, physical health, and our desire to thrive as productive beings often result in stress and the overall feeling that we don’t have enough time and energy to adequately manage everything.
Our happiness is often dependent upon and defined by our circumstances. When life yields positive results, we are overjoyed and ecstatic. When life produces negative outcomes that we can’t impact or control we live feeling disengaged, overwhelmed, confused and angry.
It is easy to be happy and optimistic when circumstances are all in your favor. When everything is going your way, you don’t think about being happy, it just happens. But what happens when challenges arise? How do you stay joyful when your relationships fall apart, or when you experience difficulties at work? No matter how difficult the struggle or how strong the adversity is, happiness is a choice.
As the founder of Happy Life Solutions, I co-created #MeetMeHappy with my partners at Induo Events to establish a community of people who are passionate about living happier lives. We are currently conducting the #MeetMeAtHappy challenge, which is a 30-day challenge based on my book, One Choice, Choose Happiness. It is designed to empower people to make the choice to choose happiness every single day, even when it isn’t the easiest choice. So the million-dollar question is, “How do we actually choose happiness?”
When we waste our time and energy worrying about or trying to change things that we don’t have the ability to impact, we are choosing to be frustrated, confused and unhappy. By exhausting our efforts to impact the things that we actually can control, like our own behavior and actions, we are on the road to choosing happiness. Here are six ways that you can choose happiness today:
1. Just drop it.
How much of your time is spent dwelling on things that have NO long-term impact on your life or that of your loved ones? Did someone cut you off while driving to work? Did someone post an article you didn’t like on Facebook? Was someone rude to you at the grocery store? Did someone take a parking spot that you were waiting for? Who cares! Just drop it!
If the things you are dwelling on have no long-term impact on your life, please stop caring about them immediately! It is not the end of the world that you chipped a nail after just getting a manicure. It is not the end of the world that strangers that you won’t likely ever see again did something rude to you. There are things in life that WILL impact your future. Focus on loving others, as well as being kind, grateful and appreciative of all of the awesomeness around you. Don’t waste your time worrying about, focusing on, or complaining about things that don’t matter. If you want to be happier, exert your energy toward the goodness in your life.
2. Control your emotions.
Sometimes we have all of the information that we need about people, places or things. If someone has shown you who they are, why are you shocked every time you spend time with them? You can’t control other people but you can control yourself. Stop indulging in negative emotions in reaction to things that you can see coming from a mile away. If you knew it would rain on Monday every week for the next year, would you ever leave home without an umbrella on a Monday? Grab your umbrella and stop letting the rain get you wet. Control your emotions. Exert your energy toward people, places and things that make you happy.
3. Embrace change.
Change is part of life. The only things that don’t change are dead things. In order to live happier lives, we have to start seeing change as an opportunity to grow and move forward. Oftentimes, the changes that we are resisting are going to present something in the long term that allows us to be in a better place than we currently are. Stop glamorizing the past. It is going to take change to