Enjoy Life: Choose to Be Happy

PinExt Enjoy Life: Choose to Be Happy

happy woman Enjoy Life: Choose to Be HappyAre you enjoying your life today?

I imagine that a lot of you will answer no to this question.  For one reason or another, maybe even one that you can’t accurately name, you’d say that you aren’t exactly happy.

Why not decide to enjoy life?  Why not choose to be happy today?

It really is a conscious choice that we can make.  After all, we choose to be unhappy.  We decide to get irritated, frustrated, mad, offended and upset.  We let ourselves dread the day.  We decide that we hate our jobs, don’t like our spouses and that everyone is out to get us.  Why not pick the alternative that is in our favor?  Why not choose to be happy?

I challenge you to decide right this minute that you are going to choose to be happy on a regular basis.  I’ll even help you get started down the right path if you are willing.

Choose to Be Happy

You need to make enjoying your life a habit – an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.  In other words, you need to structure your thinking so that happiness is the default.  Wouldn’t it be great to wake up every morning with a sense of hopeful, joyful expectancy instead of dread and apprehension?

You’ve got to retrain your brain to choose happiness so you can enjoy your life.

Here are five patterns of thought that can help you steer yourself in the right direction.  You’ll need to intentionally and purposefully practice this thinking until it becomes a regular pattern.  This will likely take several weeks, but the payoff in terms of your quality of life will be well worth it.

1.  Declare Your Resolve to Enjoy Today

“I will enjoy today,” make this clear declaration at the beginning of each day and commit to it.  Firmly resolve in your mind that, no matter what happens, you are going to stay positive and choose to be happy.

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right,” says Henry Ford.  In other words, your mind is a very powerful influence over your reality.  Train your brain to expect good things and it will naturally help make it so.  Keep the thought, “I am going to enjoy today,” at the forefront of your mind.  Repeat it to yourself throughout the day when you feel circumstances tugging you in another direction.

2. Acknowledge You Have Everything You Need

If you are alive and conscious, then you have what you need to enjoy today. Everything on top of that is gravy. Therefore, I suspect that you have a lot of gravy that should make enjoying today even easier for you. Recount to yourself the things that you have to be thankful for and that makes enjoying today easier for you. For example, here’s some of what you might include:

  • I am in good health.
  • I have people that love me.
  • I have plenty of food to eat.
  • I have enough money to survive.
  • I have access to clean drinking water.
  • I have personal freedom.
  • I have mental clarity.

You see it is really the basics in life that enable us to choose to be happy – put all the other crap aside. Focus on what you have and not what you lack. Cast aside your excuses and embrace the opportunity to enjoy today. This is the moment you have. Don’t waste it.

3.  Visualize the Ideal Day

Once you decide to enjoy today and acknowledge you have what you need, then create a clear vision in your mind’s eye of how you want the day to go.  Imagine how you’ll feel, what you will do and where you will go.  In other words, plan to be happy.  Your mind likes creating models and matching your reality to these models.  Train it so it knows the path you want to follow.  At the start of each day, visualize your ideal day and your life will slowly, but surely, start moving in that direction.

4.  Grow Into It

You cannot trust your emotions.  They will lead you astray.  You have to grow into a pattern of thinking that allows you to control your reactions if you want to keep the world from stealing your joy.  A big source of unhappiness comes from letting your circumstances fire-up negative emotions.  It takes maturity and mental preparation to recognize when your emotions are about to get the better of you.  Lean on your resolve to enjoy today and immediately reject any emotions that go against your vision for the day.  It will take some work to make this a habit, but it is a powerful groove to create.

5.  Retain Your Power

“He made me mad,” is another way of saying, “I’m giving my power to him.”  You see, when you let the actions of another offend you and steal your joy, you have given them power over your life.  You have lost what you want – your peace and sense of well-being.  You say, “But Jeff, she was really wrong.”  I know, but by becoming offended, you aren’t really hurting her.  You are only hurting yourself.  You have to train yourself to retain your power.  Keep control of your day.  Don’t let some fool rob you of your enjoyment.  Brush it off and move on.  Again, this will take some practice, but once you make it a habit, then you’ll have many more positive days to enjoy.

Will you choose to be happy?

Which one of these tips are you going to concentrate on?  Do you have another suggestion for how to enjoy life more fully?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Photo: Copyright PhotoXpress.com

PinExt Enjoy Life: Choose to Be Happy

9 thoughts on “Enjoy Life: Choose to Be Happy

  1. Jeff,

    Thanks for sharing this. I agree that being happy is very much a choice, some days it’s just harder than others :)

    You give some good advice, but I wanted to also share that what you offer is more than ‘just’ advice and is actually related to a type of therapy called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_behavioral_therapy). I’m no psychologist, but I do have personal experience with CBT. In a nutshell it works by teaching you to control your thoughts and as a result control your emotions.

    For example when you feel down, you think about being down and it reinforces the feeling. On the contrary, if you can think about being happy your emotions are more positive and they reinforce the thought…the cycles reverses.

    It may be easier said than done, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying.

    Thanks again.
    Adam @ Never a Dull Date´s last [type] ..Hitting the Slopes for a Snowboarding Date

    • Adam,

      You are certainly right that it isn’t always easy to choose happiness. We are going to fail occasionally. But, the more we try, the more we succeed. And the more succeed, the happier we become.

  2. It’s so true Jeff. When we stop and consciously acknowledge all that we have to be happy about it’s hard not to enjoy our life. One other thing that I learned is that the more that we enjoy something the faster it will go.

    This is good for when we have to do those things we would rather not.
    Justin Mazza´s last [type] ..Life – The Sum of Your Choices

    • Justin,

      Practicing gratefulness in an intentional way is a very powerful way to increase happiness. As you say, it’s hard not to enjoy life when you do this. Thanks for your comment!

    • Jack, it is funny what we come up with to keep our minds focused. But, the important thing is to do whatever it takes. I’d rather appear a little strange than miss out on happiness.

  3. if we can overcome our tendency to only work when we get something out of our every move, focussing on results, we cannot experience relaxation. this comes from unconditional actions only.

  4. Being there for my family, loving them and receiving their love in return.
    This is real happiness, always knowing that someone is always looking out for you
    Working hard and helping others always full-fill me,

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