Is Happiness a Choice? Here’s Why the Answer is “Yes”

Many people think that happiness comes from having the best things in the world. Others feel happy when they are surrounded by loved ones, or able to fulfill their needs without worries. What if you are told that happiness is a choice? That it roots from your own view and perspective toward your surroundings?

“Happiness as a choice” may sound like a cliché, but it roots in the real psychological state. If you want to experience long-term content, you must change what’s inside you, because your surroundings change frequently.

Redefining Happiness and Its Effects

Why do people think that “happiness” means having more?

Because of misunderstanding about what happiness really means.

Happiness is not a goal in life, because it is a complex concept that may be different for each person. When people focus on achieving happiness, they tend to think about success, financial excess, recognition, fame, and sexual fulfillment. When they fail to achieve these things, they become depressed and think that they are unhappy.

To feel happy, you must think of happiness as a combination of purpose and pleasure. Purpose means you have a feeling that your daily life has meaning. Pleasure means experiencing positive emotions, such as amusement, contentment, pleasure, delight, mirth, and joy. This combination happens on a daily basis, which means that it cannot be placed as a single life goal.

By being mindful of this combination, you will welcome each day with excitement and a lighter heart. When you experience hardship, you can still hold on purpose and pleasure to go through the challenges.

How to Experience Happiness in Daily Life

You can have a fulfilling life by experiencing small but constant happiness every day. Switching your mind and emotion to healthier states can help you to live a happy life. Here are practical things you can do:

  • Appreciate small pleasures

Start focusing your attention on small pleasures you often overlook. Things such as delicious breakfast, a smooth trip to work, your spouse overtaking your daily task, or coworker offering some snacks to you can make your day brighter. When the day is over, recount those small joys before going to sleep in a good mood.

  • Pay more attention to your loved one

Feeling too busy lately? Try focusing on people close to you: families, friends, coworkers. Show extra attentions by asking about their health, praising their outfits, or treating them some snacks. Their positive responses will make you happier and feel appreciated.

  • List things that make you grateful

Complaining makes us forget the good things that we have. Try recounting everyday things that make you grateful, such as your working limbs, your stable paychecks, your ability to eat and experience small pleasure, or your family. Think about people who don’t have those things, and you will feel lucky and happier.

  • Create variations in your routine

If you have a stable routine, try breaking it up occasionally. For example, try a new lunch option, a different route from work to home, or weekend routine. Breaking from routine will ignite your curiosity, refresh your mind, and renew your daily experience.

  • Practice small kindness

Practicing kindness or altruistic acts can bring positive feeling. This is because altruistic acts can ignite the part of the brain that gets pleasure from sex or food. Say thank you with a smile to servers. Buy lunch for coworkers. Open the door for someone. Volunteer when you have time. These acts will bring positive changes in your life.

Finally, try to conduct “social media detox”. Many negative emotions such as envy, anger, and anxiety are caused by overexposure to social media. Cut down your use from eight hours to three, for example (or just log off for a day). You will feel the effect immediately.

Physical Activities, Health, and Happiness

There are connections between physical activities, health, and psychological state. By being active and healthy, your body responds better to stress. Physical activities can also encourage the production of dopamine, a hormone that creates a “happy” feeling in your brain.

There are several nice ways to feel happy through healthy or physical activities, such as:

  • Start walking

Never do sport before? Try taking up walking for 20 to 30 minutes every day. Pick a nice route, such as a friendly neighborhood route, beachside, or backyard hills. Morning walk (and sweat) will make you feel fresher and happier.

  • Sleep more regularly

Arrange your schedule so you can sleep for six to eight hours every night. Good night sleep will reduce the stress level and keep your hormones in balance. You will also feel more refreshed when starting your day.

  • Try breathing exercise, yoga, and meditation

Breathing exercise, yoga, and meditation help you to achieve “mindfulness”. Breathing regularly and feeling your muscle movements help to bring your mind to the “present”. They are good exercises to prevent bad habits, like dwelling in the past or anxious about the future.

Teaching yourself to be happy is the first step to have a good life. Happiness is a choice, and you have the control to improve your life.

5 Simple Tips to Stay Motivated to Workout Regularly

Health is one of the most valuable assets. No matter how much money you have, if you are not healthy, you certainly will not feel happy.

Unfortunately, despite knowing the importance of health, there are still many people who underestimate health problems and are reluctant to do things that can keep them healthy. Other than the lack of self-awareness of the importance of health, this phenomenon is often also caused by a bad lifestyle.

To combat unhealthy lifestyles and habits, exercise regularly is your best choice. Besides being able to make you healthier, many studies reveal that regular workout is also good for maintaining your mental health.

One of the biggest challenges in exercising regularly is finding the motivation to it. Fortunately, we have 5 simple tips on how to stay motivated to workout. Here are those tips:

1. Determine Your Short-Term Goals

As we know, the results of regular workout can only be seen when the activity has been done routinely in the long run. However, many people can’t wait that long to get results, so they finally give up halfway.

To avoid this, you must know your main targets in the short and long term. The target will help you monitor your progress so that you can feel the results immediately.

Your initial target should not be grandiose, try to start with the smallest target. For example, in the first month, you can start targeting to lose 2 kg of weight by running 1 mile per day while reducing your intake calories. This target is possible and is not harmful to your body’s balance.

2. Asking for Support

There is no shame in asking for support to the closest people in your life. Various studies show that the biggest motivation for doing things often arises from external factors such as families and friends.

To be continuously motivated, you need to keep good communication with those closest to you. Tell them how far you are trying to work out regularly along with the positive changes you feel.

If possible, you can also invite them to join in to exercise and start a healthier lifestyle together. By doing positive activities together, you can strengthen your relationship while improving the quality of health.

3. Do Not Exceed Your Physical Abilities

When starting to workout, you usually have such enormous passion and motivation. However, the condition often makes you want to exercise excessively beyond your physical abilities. This attitude can result in frequent muscle injury or stiffness. Eventually, your motivation will disappear because of the pain.

To overcome this, you must be fully aware that good workout motivation is the one that is sustainable and continuous. Instead of forcing yourself at the start, it’s better to start with small steps accompanied by consistency and clear targets.

As a suggestion, you do not need to do heavy workout every day. Try to intersect your strenuous exercise activities with lighter exercise to maintain your stamina so you can avoid burn out and loss of motivation.

4. Finding New Routines and Methods

One of the biggest factors that can erode a person’s motivation to exercise regularly is boredom. Workout routines are often seen as monotonous and boring. Whereas, this activity can easily be more interesting if you would dare yourself to try out various new workout methods out there.

In recent times, exercising is not limited to monotonous activities such as running, doing push-ups, or lifting weights. Currently, there are many variations of exercises that you can do as workout material every day such as yoga, parkour, or mixed martial arts.

Using a variety of exercises that are more diverse and challenging will keep your motivation up high and prevent boredom that usually appears in the first few months after starting the workout.

5. Start Living a Balanced Lifestyle

It’s important to know that exercising every day will not have a significant impact if you are still trapped in an unhealthy lifestyle. In the end, this thing can make you doubt the outcome of your effort, so you will find it difficult to find the motivation to maintain the workout program that you have created.

From now on, a healthy lifestyle should become your top priority. You need to start eating more nutritious foods, get enough rest, and avoid stressful factors that can trigger health problems.

Apart from the five tips on how to stay motivated to workout above, finding a motivation to work out regularly often comes from within. If you are eager to change and start pursuing a healthy lifestyle to improve quality of life, you should not find it difficult to find a motivation to get up and start exercising every day.

Lastly, for those of you who have never try to work out regularly before, getting maximum results requires extra effort and consistency in the long run. To get the best results, you should use professional services such as a nutritionist or personal trainer so you can determine the right target according to your needs and abilities.