Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Happiness is a Choice


A couple of days ago I read an article a friend had posted on my old friend Facebook, it was the top five regrets of the dying, and at number five was "I wish I had let myself be happier". The article stated that many people did not realise that happiness was a choice until they were dying. Over the last few days since I read this article I have been pondering the words:     
                                               "Happiness is a choice".  

This evening as I lay in bed while my baby fell asleep, I thought about the last few days, and how I have been feeling overall; I have been feeling a bit rubbish to say the least. I have wanted very much to stop writing my blog and spend my evening zonking out in front of mind numbing movies, I have felt like a failure, a fake and like I have lost my umph again, the only time I had really been happy was whilst writing my posts (which makes it even more ironic that I wanted to stop writing them) and while playing with my baby. 
Indeed I had wanted to throw in the towel and admit that I am simply a depressive..... 

But the words "happiness is a choice" kept coming back to my mind, and so this evening as I lay in bed I said to no one in particular "fine then" and I smiled, a big ear to ear smile, and I smiled that smile for at least half an hour until it was time to sit up and write this post and I am smiling now as I write it too. 

Happiness is a choice, I have no special reason for smiling and I have no reason not to smile. Smiling feels good. 
Once I was smiling I started to imagine all the things I would like to get up to this summer, and I started to imagine them all going better than I could imagine. I imagined each scenario as fun, exciting and running smoothly. I imagined my children happy with every situation, being thankful for holidays, food and all the effort I make for them to have a good time. 
This imagining felt good, it made my smile bigger and bigger, I thought of the implications of everything actually going well: my life will be fun, it will be exciting, I will be experiencing levels of happiness I could only have dreamed of........

Being happy all the time is unfamiliar to me, it does not feel entirely comfortable to me, I am not sure how it works yet. I have all my old patterns to rewrite, like others (I am sure) I have my little ways of getting energy from other people around me, and ever since I recognised that, I have tried to stop doing it, however if I choose happiness those behaviours will simply stop by themselves. What will I do then???

Yes indeed some (bizzarre) part of me is afraid to let go of my patterns and simply choose happiness. I am safe in misery land. What will actually happen if I am happy all the time?
What will it be like to simply be a happy person? What is it really like to be happy with my life exactly the way it is now?

Well I am about to find out! Happiness is a choice, but in my case (and I suspect in many other people's) it is also an effort of Will. It took will for me to smile this evening, it takes will for me to start listing and feeling the things for which I am grateful, it takes will to change, will to let go and will to choose good feeling thoughts. I think it also takes a certain amount of will to stay miserable too.....

I am reminded of a section of a book I once read by Osho, in which he said something along the lines of  " can you imagine a time when you will accept yourself exactly the way you are?" and of course my answer was "yes", and he went on to say (roughly) "what are you waiting for? you may as well accept yourself exactly the way you are RIGHT NOW!". 
That did it for me, I understood, I got it and started to accept myself straight away!

I think happiness is the same, if it is possible to envisage a time when one will be happy then it may as well be right now. Now is always the time. We are never in the future, we are always now. Now is the time to be happy, now is the time to feel self acceptance. Now is the time to smile. I might be dead tomorrow. What a waste my life would be if I was miserable for the last night , hour or minute of my life. 

       Choose Happiness Now. Smile Now. Go on.....

Today I have loving gratitude for inspirational articles other people share with the world
I have loving gratitude for the way my smile makes me feel
I have loving gratitude that smiles can convey love to other people
I have loving gratitude that smiles are free and benefit everyone
I have loving gratitude for my children's smiles
I have loving gratitude for apple crumble
I have loving gratitude for the birds new spring songs
I have loving gratitude for mice
I have loving gratitude for bumble bees
I have loving gratitude for my ability to choose happiness

love Klara. 


  1. Great post, and very true. I stumbled across a scientific slant on the same thing recently. If you search "facial feedback" on Google Scholar and look for the 1988 paper by Fritz Stack, you'll find empirical evidence to support what you so rightly point out!

    Also, on a slightly broader scale, there were some experiments done which showed (in a nutshell) that thinking old makes you act older, thinking young makes you act younger. The paper is called "Automaticity of social behavior: Direct effects of trait construct and stereotype activation on action", written by John Bargh, Mark Chen, and Lara Burrows. Worth checking out.

    Anyway, not trying to supplant your post with scientific jibber jabber, just wanted to add my two cents to your argument.

    Keep smiling!

    1. Thank you very much for your comment, I am very interested to read scientific publications which help me to keep working with my mind.
      I don't think enough credence is given to the actual Power of Though
      best wishes