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Whether you spend your days walking around with a happy smile on your face or instead spend them frowning into the gutter, depends on nothing and nobody except YOU.
This is because the lens you choose to look through colours the world you see around you, and determines whether your life feels happy and joyful, or unhappy and downbeat. Sure, we all have good experiences, and not so good experiences: A surprise gift, an unexpected compliment or bumping into an old friend all add to our well of positivity. And likewise, a missed bus, a broken shoe, or a too-expensive bill can serve to dampen the spirits. But these things happen to us all and aren’t the root causes of happiness or unhappiness.
Do you Choose How You Feel?
How often do you let your circumstances dictate your mood?
Or rather, how often do you THINK you’re letting your circumstances dictate your mood?
Waking up on a dark, rainy Monday morning, it’s likely that any sane person will fall into a slump. Whilst leaving work on a sunny Friday afternoon puts a smile on almost everyone’s face! But however unconsciously it’s happening, in both of these situations, you are making a choice about how to feel. You are choosing the lens to look through, and you are choosing your perspective.
Habits of Happiness … and Unhappiness
It’s very easy to slip into habits when it comes to perspective. As humans, we’re very quick to be swayed by certain factors, the weather being a great example, because we respond to it on so many levels of our being. Physically, sunshine warms us, hormonally, we respond with increased serotonin levels which emotionally soothe us and also offer us mental clarity. All of which make it pretty clear why sunny days can very easily become a trigger which leads to positive perspectives of life! In this case, the choice becomes almost automatic. But a choice IS still made.
So what about the gloomy Monday morning? The choice to feel gloomy along with it is also almost automatic for most of us, but again, a choice is still being made.
Which means it can be made again.
Two Simple Words: I Choose
It’s within YOUR power, with every step and every turn you make, to choose the perspective you see the world from. You can choose to adopt a positive mindset, or a negative one. But don’t leave it to chance: Every time you react or respond to something in your life, or better still just before you react or respond, say the words: “I choose …” and make it a truly conscious choice.
So when the queue at the post office is overflowing and you don’t have enough time, instead of huffing and puffing, say to yourself “I choose to wait. I choose to be patient.”
When the car in front cuts you up at a junction, instead of raging, say “I choose to practice compassion, and allow the urgency of others.” And turn your attention to something else.
And when you wake up on Monday morning and the rain is pouring down, say to yourself “I choose to have a really great day today!” And go out and do!
Choose to Change your Life
It’s important not to ignore or bypass the things in your life which are truly not ok. Sure, we can maintain a positive outlook, choose to frame our circumstances as opportunities and see the potential light in the dark, but this isn’t an excuse NOT to instigate change where it’s needed.
This is where your commitment to choosing can spill from your inner to your outer world and you can choose to take control of the things which really matter. Of course, instigating change can be difficult and scary, especially when it involves the big issues like money, work and relationships, but again, choosing to frame your perspective of change, will also help you to move through it gracefully. Some really useful positive affirmations to use, if you are embarking upon a time of change, and seeking more happiness as a result are:
“I choose to focus on what I have, and not what I haven’t”
“I choose to move at my own speed through this process”
“I choose to speak clearly and honestly to everyone around me”
“I choose to focus on the details which will bring me ultimate happiness”
Because it is also important to note the difference between instant happiness (gratification) and ultimate, lasting happiness, the kind of happiness which resides deep in your bones and will last a lifetime. This kind of happiness is available to all, it’s most definitely not accidental and let’s face it, it’s what we’re all seeking! But the pathway to get there doesn’t have to be difficult. All you need is a strong intention, and two, short words …
What are you choosing to see differently today?
What are you choosing, to find more happiness in YOUR life?