Lisa Lansing

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Happiness is a choice. Choose it today.

This morning I woke up bright and early at 5am to catch a bus to Glasgow. I’m here now, blogging away, as this is my last day in Glasgow until I’m back in Scotland in December. I can’t believe I’ve lived in Scotland for 6 months already!

I’m just sitting in this wee café in Central Station, hammering out blog posts and contemplating the next phase of my life. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I can’t help but emphasise how truly happy I am. I’m happy because I make a conscious decision to choose happiness every day.

It wasn’t easy at first because I blamed a lack of money, my place of work, or where I lived for my unhappiness in life. Once I realised happiness comes down to how you perceive your circumstances, I decided to only focus on the positive things in my life and eliminated the negative. This included purging negative thoughts from my mind, as well as negative relationships, my job, and nearly all of my material possessions.

True happiness is 100% attainable.

Cynical naysayers don’t believe it, but it really is as easy as remembering to be happy. It comes down to your outlook. If you’re unhappy, try adjusting your attitude and learn to appreciate the little things that bring you joy. Emphasise the positive things in your life and stay optimistic.

So many people could be happy but they choose not to be. Instead, they complain about how terrible their lives are, how they hate their job or their partner, while not doing anything about it! These people tend to believe happy people are only happy because of external factors, like how much money they make and the opportunities in their lives. Similarly, healthy people must only be healthy because of their genes and metabolism. Neither case is true. Happy people are happy because of the choices they make in the same way healthy people are healthy because they choose to eat well and exercise.

Yes, some things are out of our control, like our genes and the chemical balance found in our brains, but you make conscious choices every day about how you live your life. You can control your diet, how active you are, how much you work, your spending habits….Granted, some of these are long-term aspects of your life so you can’t expect to change them overnight. You have to put work into your life if you want a life worth living!

You’ll always be miserable if you believe only external factors determine your happiness. It may feel like everything is out of your control but the opposite is true! Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, ask yourself: What does it mean to truly be happy?

If you know the answer to this question, are you taking steps to change your situation? If your job stresses you out, take real steps to find another one. If you loathe your partner, end it right then and there! The reality is that YOU are in control of your happiness and emotions. Your actions and the choices you make are the only things you can blame if you find yourself unhappy.

Additionally, anytime I tell people to ‘choose happiness,’ someone inevitably brings up the fact that some people suffer from clinical depression. True, there are situations where you can’t just choose to be happy. Some people do suffer from depression, but you can’t tell me that every person who claims to be unhappy suffers from some brain chemical imbalance.

And it’s perfectly okay to feel sad from time to time. Life is full of ups and downs, we can’t expect to be 100% happy 24/7. The point is to not dwell on these circumstances. Mourn the death of a loved one, shed a tear or two following a break-up, but move on. You can only do this if you make the choice to be positive.

So start choosing happiness today. Wake up every morning and tell yourself that today is going to be a great day. (Say it out loud.) Take time every day to remind yourself of the things you appreciate. Have gratitude. Remove negative people and situations from your life. Make a conscious effort to focus on the positive in every situation and see how you feel.

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