It has been scientifically proven that happiness is a choice. One psychological theory suggests that every individual is innately instilled with a happiness ‘set-point’, and that ever-constant oscillation around this point determines our mood level. When something positive happens in our lives, we experience great happiness – when something tragic happens, we experience sadness. It is an equilibrium, and it is constantly being reset as we go through the ups and down of inevitable daily motion. Of course, our happiness is not completely within our own control; if it was, we would likely be thrilled and euphoric all of the time. In fact, only roughly 40 percent of our mood is within our own control – the remainder can be determined by a slew of contributing factors, ranging from upbringing and genetics to daily interactions and environment. As it so turns out, we actually have quite a bit more say in the whole ‘happiness’ puzzle than we think we do. The greatest discovery of any one individual, it has been said, is that mood can be drastically altered by a simple change in attitude.
The Art of Choosing Happiness
Practicing kindness, altruism, and tolerance towards other living things (people especially), has scientifically proven to enhance overall happiness. Meditate on compassion for 15 minutes every day, and begin to see amazing results in a short matter of weeks.
Live in gratitude.
Choosing to cultivate gratitude and express thanks for the things that you have been blessed with is entirely within your control. Take time to thoroughly appreciate all of the ‘simple pleasures’ that your day is inevitably full of.
Choose to be happy – pursue happiness.
Make obtaining happiness your number one goal in life. Find what it is that makes you happy, and chase after it. Success has been shown to follow those who dedicate their time to pursuing happiness itself rather than the things they believe will make them happy.
Happiness in Addiction Recovery
Sadly, many do not recognize happiness as a choice until much later on in life. It is not uncommon for us to stay entirely stuck in our self-imposed precedents, so comforted by familiarity and routine that we lose all sense of spontaneity until it is essentially too late. Fear of change – of the unknown – keeps us trapped in pattern. We convince ourselves that we are content, when deep within we truly yearn to pursue our passions – to laugh and climb and explore and be silly. Really, life is a choice. Everything about life is a choice. We can choose to be happy. We can choose to pursue happiness fearlessly, living mindfully, compassionately, honestly, and with integrity and purpose. Our recovery can be rich and fulfilled, full of beauty and adventure – it is truly up to us.