Mrs Mehta who was over 80 years old had a great flair towards dressing up well and celebrating life with her beloved husband. They had been married for more than 60 years and loved each other limitlessly. After the departure of her beloved husband, having no children and nobody else in the family to care for her, she decided to move to a nursing home. Even on the day when she vacated her home, she dressed up elegantly and looked ever so beautiful. After arriving at the nursing home, she had to wait patiently for hours in the lobby, while her room was made ready. While an attendant helped her make her way to the room, she gave Mrs Mehta a detailed description of the tiny space that she was meant to occupy.”I LOVE IT,” expressed Mrs Mehta, with the enthusiasm of a little girl who had just been presented with a puppy! “But Mrs Mehta, you haven’t even seen the room yet.. wait till you see it atleast” said the attendant.
“Well, my excitement and happiness has nothing to do with the room,” “You see dear, whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture has been arranged or how big it is, it depends on how I arrange my mind”.
“Happiness is something you can decide ahead of time. And I have already decided to love my room, to love the people around me, and to love my life. It is a decision that I make every morning when I wake up. The greatest asset we all have is the power to choose how we feel.” Said Mrs Mehta, as the attendant listened attentively with her mouth wide open in astonishment of the positive attitude of this elderly lady whose life peripherally was only full of problems and hopelessness.
Isn’t this a true story for all of us?
“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” said Abraham Lincoln
Human beings are always making choices and doing things to be happy – choosing what to eat, what clothes to wear, who to love, where to work. Some of our choices are good and others not but they’re all based on our impelling desire to be happy.
Genetics, personality and nature, life circumstances as upbringing, health and finances certainly play an important part in one’s happiness. But the most vital element to being happy is choice. You can choose to be happy!
However, just knowing that happiness is a choice is not enough. Fully experiencing it requires a conscious decision to choose happiness each day. While we cannot always control our circumstances, we do have more control over our life activity. And if that life activity is said to be responsible for almost 40% of our happiness, we can focus on making better choices here to increase our happiness levels. In fact, we can even make choosing happiness as one life choice!
How can we do that? Here are 5 ways to inculcate a habit of choosing happiness:
- Count your blessings – Happy people choose to focus on the positive aspects of life rather than the negative. They set their minds on specific reasons to be grateful. They express it when possible. And they quickly discover there is always something to be grateful for. It could be the fact you have a place to live, friends and family that love you, have clothes to wear, or even that you have eyes to see and legs to walk with. There are millions of people in the world that don’t have some of those things.
- Choose to smile – Turn that frown upside down. Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. Indeed, studies have shown that smiling even when we feel down gradually makes us feel happier. So you can actually program yourself to experience happiness by choosing to smile.
- Choose Kindness – When you choose to do kinds acts for other people, so-called happiness hormones are released, boosting your serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of well-being and satisfaction. Endorphin levels also rise, leading to a phenomenon known as a ‘helper’s high’.
- Speak daily affirmation into your life – Affirmations are positive statements that are recited in the first person, present tense (“I am…”). Affirmations used daily can release stress, build confidence, and improve outlook.
- Fix your Lifestyle – Right food, right exercise, adequate water and adequate rest form your lifestyle. Spend time and resources in fixing that. You will be amazed with the way your mind responds to a happy body.
And always remember- Only problems happen automatically, Happiness is a choice! So choose well and live well !