Thursday Thoughts: Is Happiness a Choice?

The concept of consistent happiness seems to odd to me. It’s seen as a goal in our society, it’s like the ultimate end product, but it’s extremely rare for humans to achieve long-lasting happiness. Why? Because we’re human. Happiness is a feeling, and feelings are fleeting. It seems that people end up frustrated when they can’t achieve the kind of happiness that they dream of, when rather, I think we should aim to achieve happiness most of the time.

This may seem like an odd perspective – I’d like to clarify that I’m not a glass-half-empty kinda gal – but its one that resonates with me and my lifestyle. I think it’s important to remember that shit happens. It might not always go to plan, but as long as you’re feeling good and positive about your life 99% of the time, I think that’s a life well lived.

But that begs the question: how can I be happy if everything in my life isn’t going to plan? I think it’s a mindset thing. I genuinely believe that a positive mindset attracts positive vibes. If you approach life with a negative mindset, things seem even worse than they really are, and then it spirals out of control from there. Say you get a bad grade on a paper you worked really hard on. It’s important to feel the natural emotion of disappointment, but you can’t dwell on that feeling for too long. If you acknowledge the feeling, but then turn it into a positive (for instance, a learning experience and an opportunity to do better next time), it’s much easier to regain happiness and move forward.

There will be tough times, there will be happy times, and there will be stagnant times in your life where you feel kinda meh – and all of these are a completely natural and healthy part of being human! I guess my advice is just to acknowledge this and don’t continually strive for consistent happiness. If something bad happens, realise that that’s okay too. It’s when you let the feelings mellow and sink in that it changes your perception on life. Happiness may not be a choice, but a positive mindset certainly is.

Caitlin xx

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