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Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Negativity is addictive. It’s easy to fall into an endless cycle of anger, sadness, and general unhappiness. It’s easier to just let the emotions be than it is to fight it and let happiness overtake you. The hard truth is, more often than not, happiness just feels dangerous. What comes up most come down right? You can’t appreciate happiness without the pain, but letting happiness into your life feels scary because you know what can come next.
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While that’s not untrue, there’s more to the story. Yes sad things happen, scary things, things that cause you to feel angry or frustrated or upset. Reasons to just not be happy. It’s part of life and we can’t escape it (as much as we’d all love to!).
This is not to say you shouldn’t react accordingly to a situation. But after an appropriate amount of time, its healthy to let go of negative emotions. Holding onto them only hurts you, and you deserve better. So how can you CHOOSE to be happy? Here are 9 easy ways to get past the negativity:
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- SMILE | This is the easiest thing you can do in the world, simply put a smile on even when you don’t feel like it. There is a negative stigma behind forced smiles but hear me out. There have been scientific studies proving that a forced smile psychologically tricks your brain into thinking you are happy. It also relieves tension in the jaw which physically makes you feel happier! No reason not to try! Think of it as dressing for the job you want, not the job you have!
- FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE | Sometimes this is hard, we’ve all been there. But try to find the positive, try to find something good about the situation you are in. If you can’t; count your blessings because there is still something good happening in your life so find it, and focus hard on it.
- USE THE LAW OF ATTRACTION | If you need encouragement to be happy, try asking for it. The law of attraction states whatever you put out in the universe is what you will receive. So put out positive, happy thoughts to receive it back!
- MAKE A TO DO LIST | This seems random I know, but if there is something you need to accomplish, make it into a to do list. Write down every single task you need to accomplish related to it. Break it into as many steps as you can. Then go through the list, making a big celebration out of crossing each one off of it. Between the act of distracting yourself and the act of celebrating milestones, no matter how small, the tiny positive actions will add up resulting in a more positive demeanor! Whenever you get the chance to, productivity is a fantastic boost to your confidence!
- LEARN SOMETHING | Go as big or as small as you need, but focusing on a new activity inspires positivity! Maybe its a new activity such as knitting, or a new sport like basketball, or perhaps more practical such as budgeting. Whatever it is, focus hard and the excitement of starting something new and accomplishing something will rub off!
- TREAT YOURSELF WELL | Self care is so important, and during times of negativity it becomes more important than ever. In fact, people who bring self care routines into their daily or weekly lives are found to be happier in general! Whether its physical such as a manicure, or exercise, or mental such as meditation or journaling, find an activity or routine that you can fit in as often as possible to recenter you.
- SPEND TIME WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE | Your personality tends to take on characteristics of the three people you spend the most amount of time with. So choose these people wisely. If they are negative people, chances are you will feel negativity no matter what you do. You don’t need to surround yourself with people unrealistically happy or positive all of the time, you just need people who are open to accepting happiness when appropriate!
- HELP SOMEONE ELSE | Here’s a big secret that no one wants to say out loud: helping someone else is addictive because of how it makes you feel about yourself! So get out there, help someone carry their groceries, pay it forward in the coffee line, or better yet, volunteer at a local non-profit! Doing something for someone else, is a guaranteed way of helping yourself just as much! Focusing on someone else’s issues makes yours seem smaller and less important. I
- COMMIT TO YOURSELF | No matter what has happened, you deserve happiness. You deserve to feel emotions that aren’t negative. You deserve to feel joy. So commit to yourself, make a promise to make yourself a priority and to accept that you are worthy of happiness.
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When choosing happiness doesn’t work
Here’s the surprising twist to everything aforementioned. Choosing happiness is difficult, we’ve discussed this already. But it also doesn’t work if your heart isn’t in it. In fact it will make you feel worse by increasing your stress levels and making you feel badly about yourself for ‘failing’. So what do you do?
What it comes down to, is pay attention to your emotions. They are there for a reason, and there is nothing wrong with being angry and being sad and everything in-between. It’s when you stay in the those emotions for longer than appropriate to the situation and it begins to negatively affect your life, that it becomes dangerous.
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So listen to the emotions, and make sure you are focusing on the correct emotion at that time and understand why you are feeling this way. If you’re not sure why you are stuck on a certain emotion and the tricks above aren’t helping, please get some help. Therapy is beautiful and soul enhancing so please don’t be afraid of your emotions, just be open to understanding them! I promise, it will change your life!
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These are fantastic tips to bring more happiness to our days! I totally agree that we really get back what we put out into the universe. Choose positivity and happiness, radiate it and it will come back x10
How we take care of ourselves definitely impacts our happiness level.
Great tips! My number one way to feel better is to make a list. Something about checking off things I’ve accomplished just resets my entire mood!
Creating a to do list MAKES me smile. Check and check. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
I agree with everything you’ve written here. Trying to find positivity isn’t always easy, but I’m sure it does help people cope with health problems. And you are spot on about helping other people. It gives a feel-good factor.
Self-care is a great way to choose happiness. Great read.
[…] [RELATED: 9 Ways to Choose Happiness, and When Not to] […]
[…] [RELATED: 9 Ways to Choose Happiness, and When Not to] […]
[…] [RELATED: 9 Ways to Choose Happiness, When Not to] […]
I really enjoyed reading this as your happiness determines everyone elses!
[…] [RELATED: 9 Ways to Choose Happiness, and When Not To] […]
[…] [RELATED: 9 Ways to Choose Happiness and When Not to] […]
You have some great suggestions, and I love that you include self care! So often we forget that our mental and emotional health is as important as our physical health. We generally don’t feel overly ‘happy’ when we’re fighting a cold or illness, so why would we feel ‘happy’ if we’re struggling with our mental health? Self care helps us to keep this in check.
[…] your life in love based decisions doesn’t mean you will have the perfect life with only happiness. But it does mean you will make decisions to benefit you in a healthy and joyful way, as opposed to […]
This is a wonderful post! I often feel silly, because I’ll find one positive thing in a stressful/negative situation, even if it is a tad ridiculous.
These are great tips. I’ll definitely share!
I really enjoyed this post.
[…] [RELATED: 9 Ways to Choose Happiness, and When Not to!] […]
[…] [RELATED: 9 Ways to Choose Happiness and When Not To] […]
Love the smile idea! It really is contagious and addicting. Visiting from #littlethingsthursday linkup.
[…] h yourself. Congratulate yourself on things well done, and share in the disappointment to learn from mistakes. Treating yourself like a human being helps your brain realize you are a human being worthy of self respect. […]
It is sooo easy to get sucked into the black hole of negativity, to let others have an effect on our attitude. My husband and I are always saying to each other, after one of us annoys the other, that “you control your own attitude and actions, not me.” Although it almost always makes us more annoyed in the moment (who wants to hear that when someone is being obnoxious!?), it’s TRUE, you have a choice in how you feel and react in (almost) every situation! I love your post!
It really feels great when we can keep yourself happy and only then it is possible to create a positive atmosphere around us. Thanks for your ideas, these would be really helpful.
Yes, smile! I truly believe smiling makes a person more beautiful. 🙂 I love to smile!
I love this advice! It is hard to embrace the happiness – especially when you sometimes feel guilty about feeling that way.
Great advice! I love how you added to helping someone, too!
tonyalee @ http://vivaciousbibliophile.com/
Making a to-do list sounds like a great idea. I do feel better when I am productive and when I literally check things off my list. Thanks for sharing these!
I agree that practicing self care is really important for our own happiness! It’s important to validate our emotions to not to dwell on the negative ones too long. Lovely post.
This was a great post loaded with good ideas. I am trying much harder to choose happiness (and when not to too LOL).
The company you keep can definitely influence how you think. As my mom would say when we were younger, “I can tell who you are hanging around by how you talk.”
Something I’ve been doing lately is write down things to be thankful for and encouraging things that are opposite of how I may be feeling. It has been resetting my mind a bit just to write it out. Super great tips!
Thank you for the practical advice.Sometimes it is the simple things that make a big difference.
Great post! I agree wholeheartedly with it. I’ve always said that helping others, even the small things can lift your spirits. Well done!
I try to practise as many of these as I can every day! Some days it is not easy but the more you focus on the good, the easier itbecomes.
It is so easy to forget these simple ways to just be happy. It’s so very important that we do all this or some even on any given day so we can teach the same to our kids of tomorrow.
You’ve got some great advice here! I am a firm believer in surrounding yourself with people who bring you up and add joy to your life as opposed to those who tear you down or introduce negativity.
Beautiful advice! I would not have thought about learning something new…but you are absolutely right! A new ability or skill totally boosts my mood!