Making the choice to be happy
Guest Post by Carla Simpson
It is scientifically proven that being happy is a choice but what does that mean and why in our current society, are so many people unhappy?
Did you know experts are saying that suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians and accounts for the deaths of more young people than car accidents? Yes, I’ve started with an alarming statistic because happiness is serious business. It’s not suns and rainbows and group hugs. Without happiness, we will suffer.
Mental illness an epidemic that isn’t going anywhere. We are officially, as a society, more depressed and anxious than ever before. The depression rates are 10% higher than in 1960 with the average age of the sufferer being just 14.5 years old. In previous years, this age was 29.
For a very long time I thought that I was happy. I woke up everyday, looked in the mirror and cringed at what I saw. Slogging away at the gym to achieve that perfect body that all the girls talked about and desired to have. I went to work, did the same thing every day and never really stopped to ask myself if I actually was happy. I was so caught up in the life of “I should do this”, “I should look like that” or “I should have a boyfriend like her”.
Hear that? I should, I should, I should.
Then, I had these two most surreal awakenings. This is where my search for what happiness started and I FINALLY understood that happiness comes from the soul. I realised I could be happy no matter what the circumstance. It’s not the circumstances that defines us but how we react that counts.
I was at my brothers wedding dancing on the dance floor and I was crying and dancing by myself. I could see everyone was thinking “eek I think Carla has had too much to drink” (and yes they were probably right!) but the real reason I was crying was because I was so done with being that girl, I was so done with the same questions:
– Carla have you got a boyfriend yet?
– Carla are you on RSVP yet?
The 2nd awakening I had was not long after. I was in a yoga class as a student with no intention to become a teacher. The teacher said something about trying to quieten the mind let go of the voices – me thinking “yeah what voices is she talking about?” and then she said “and if you think you have no voices then guess what that is a voice telling you that, so yes you do!”
Then I realised I DID have voices in my head and if I did, well everyone else must too!
That was it with these two awakening experiences my life changed.
I got it, I understood my mind was holding me back, my mind was sabotaging me.
Well no not any more! This is when I discovered that real happiness, true authentic happiness is and a daily choice and that no one else can make me happy, happiness comes from within. I discovered my tools that I use daily to GET HAPPY NOW.
What is happiness?
But to me it’s now a decision that I make everyday, it’s the way I choose to see my world.
That all sounds wonderful doesn’t it? Imagine if you could diagnose yourself with the knowledge to choose to be ‘happy no matter what the circumstance. Imagine that instead of getting bogged down with negative and depressive thoughts you saw this as a sign to choose to think and make decisions in a different way, a more joyful way.
Now, I’m not suggesting we can be happy all the time, (we’re not acting out a scene in Pollyanna) but I’m suggesting that YOU can control your mindset and your overall disposition.
Be Happy, Here’s How
First, you need to make the choice.
Let me ask you something, do you want to wake up and be excited about the day ahead or are you comfortable living a ho-hum life?
If you chose the first option, GREAT. Keep reading because it’s not as hard as you might think.
We need to make a conscious choice to be happy everyday. So many people think happiness is a by product of a positive result. “I’ll be happy once I get that promotion” or “I’ll be happy once I have a partner” If you are living your life this way, ask yourself, what will you do once you achieve said goal? What will make you happy then?
The answer to that is simple. Nothing. You will continue chasing something new because you’ve wired your brain to always be on the hunt for happiness.
Happiness is a choice and a feeling. It’s something we feel with or without that fancy car. It is not due to materialistic gain or as a result of power.
To be truly happy you have to love yourself, love others and look for the positive in every situation.
Make the choice and feel the good vibes!
Start each day with a grateful heart
Gratitude isn’t a new thing. We’ve been having the conversation for a very long time for a very good reason. By practicing gratitude you automatically change your outlook in life. Instead of “I can’t believe I didn’t get that promotion, my life sucks” your narrative can be “I’m grateful I was considered for this opportunity but the fact I was not successful in my application means I have more road to cover before I am ready for the role”.
Everyday it’s so easy to get caught in what we want, what we lack and why things are not working for us. I have learnt over time to shift my mindset and focus on all the wonderful things I DO have in my life.
This amazing thing happens once we start to focus on what we have and what we are grateful for. Like magic, more things show up in our life that we can be grateful for. If your mindset is that you have nothing to be grateful for you need to change that mindset to see all the wonderful possibilities that are around you.
What are you grateful for? I’d love to hear it.
“Happiness is not the mere possession of money, it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort” – Franklin Roosevelt
Include Daily Affirmations in Your Routine
Isn’t is nice when we’re paid a compliment? Do you remember the last one you were given? How did it make you feel?
I’d guess that it made you feel empowered, strong, loved and capable.
What if I told you, you could replicate that feeling daily?
Here’s a truth that can’t be denied. You can’t love others and live a full life unless you love yourself first. Shower yourself with the same praise you’d bestow upon your best friend, lover, parent or even pet and you will see a marked improvement in your happiness and self-worth.
I challenge you to write down three things about yourself that you are proud of. This can be anything from your luscious locks to your sharp wit and even skill on the dance floor. Whatever they are, write them down.
I want you to look in the mirror each morning and repeat those three things. If you don’t start to believe them wholeheartedly by day 3, grab yourself a copy of my book and decide to commit to making a change by practicing the exercises over and over again.
I’m going to leave you with one of my favourite quotes for you to ponder:
“Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions” – Dalai Lama
Confident Life Contributor
Carla Maree is a thoughtleader and happiness expert who understands that happiness is available in every moment of every day. She is the author of the book “GET HAPPY NOW”, a professional speaker and a girl on a mission to help others GET HAPPY. Carla has learnt what true authentic happiness is and is obsessed with helping others understand that happiness is a choice and that it’s available to every one of us. To read more about Carla, her amazing life experiences, and her book, check out the following links: