Is Happiness a choice?

5 ways to increase your happiness.

“There is place within you that wants to change - there is a place saying I am willing to see it differently. I choose to see joy instead of this. I choose to see love instead of this. I choose to see peace instead of this”  Course in Miracles

Happiness is something that we intrinsically are. The better we know ourselves - what we love, what inspires us - the happier we are. We can increase our happiness significantly the moment we recognise that everything we are searching for is already within us. True happiness begins by being faithful to our true nature. Your happiness will not come to you. It will only come from you.

What kind of life do you want? A happy one? Why not?
Happiness is a moment to moment choice that you make.
Happiness is up to you. Your choice. Your way.

Growing up in communist Poland was not a happy time for me. My dad was an alcoholic and my parents had an unhappy marriage. When I was six, my mother left and went to live in America. From then on my dad brought me up. Most of the time I hated being at home. I had a relatively normal childhood, however I was always aware of my dad drinking alcohol which very often led to physical abuse. There were things I missed in my childhood that maybe some other kids had the opportunity to do. I very quickly learned to be independent and spend time on my own. There were things I liked to do; I was passionate about painting, drawing, singing, playing piano - and choosing to do them helped me to like my life. Later on in my life my pursuit of happiness had its ups and downs (anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse). However, I went through it and I am grateful for opportunities that came my way. I’ve grown stronger and stronger and I’ve realised it is partly because of my upbringing. I am the person I am right now and I’ve always tried to grab opportunities with both hands and do things that are are going to enrich my life.

The true shift in my life came with finding Yoga and Meditation and engaging in eastern philosophies. I realised that there is a different way of perceiving and experiencing life. There is another way of looking at the world and I decided to practice and explore it for myself. I have chosen the life I want to live. I have learned we have the power to change our perception of both the outer and inner world - which are really the same. I started making lifestyle choices, considered changes in my life that would make me happier and chose to make those changes. Finishing my yoga teacher training made me so happy because I was committed to achieving it and caring for people and that’s what I most want to do with my for people. My life has never been better. Now I am living my dream.

Today looking back at my childhood, however difficult and negative the experiences might have seemed, today I see it differently and I say thank you to my dad. My childhood made me independent, ambitious and determined, teaching me that drinking ruins lives and breaks families apart. I will never look back to criticise my parents or put shame on them. My dad and I have great relationship now - I will continue to support him through my life and I will always be there for him for anything he needs.

His example showed me that life is all about choices and I don't need to make the same ones he did. I’ve learned that some people choose happiness and others choose unhappiness. I’ve learned that no person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Life is what you make it - so let's make it amazing. I am fully aware that there are lots of negative things that come into people’s lives. However we can choose positivity no matter the circumstances we are living in, choose to have joy in our lives no matter what happens. Genetics, your personality, upbringing, health and finances play an important part in your happiness but the most vital element to being happy is choice.  You can choose to be happy.

Although it does take work. It takes steady practice. Happiness is not something you can turn on easily in the midst of heart ache, profound worry or illness. Still, within these, we have a choice on how we respond to them. I’m not saying ignore the real problems we all face in life - however, think about what works well for you, see the good in everything, do what gives you ultimate pleasure and practice it.  I think there are a lot of people out there who will be unhappy no matter what blessings they have in life because they choose to be victims of their surroundings. We can feel sorry for ourselves, and take the road that can lead to depression and unhappiness, or we can choose to change our attitude and be happy anyway. It’s perfectly fine to feel angry or upset, but dwelling on it and letting the anger simmer for too long can have sad results. We live in a society that is full of negativity, chaos, and trouble - there is too much nagging and complaining going on. When we get to a place in our lives where we can choose to be positive, happiness is the best thing for our own being.

If you’re in an unhappy relationship you can choose to change it. You can choose to look at the other person and your disagreements in a different way and concentrate on the positives. Of course, if the relationship is toxic you should leave it. If you hate your job you can make a choice to make changes or just look at it differently. Again, like your relationship, the real solution may be to change your job - if so, take positive action and move on. If you want to be healthier that’s another choice for personal happiness.

Choose to do things you love with people you love in places you love. Use your gifts and talents to fully express yourself - isn’t that what happiness is about?

5 ways to increase your happiness.

ALLOW yourself be happy and make happiness your number-one goal (people who are happy choose to make happiness among their top goals in life)

Linger on those little positive moments (people don’t recognise the hidden power of everyday experiences). We’re surrounded by opportunities - 10 seconds here or 20 seconds there — to just register useful experiences and learn from them.

Be mindful. Meditation - a practice that anyone can do, anywhere, so long as they’re willing to sit and try to silence the mind - is thought to be a happiness booster. Meditation practice helps to shift brain activity from the right frontal area of the brain (associated with depression, anxiety and worry) to the left, which has been found to correlate with feelings of happiness, excitement, joy and alertness.

 Smile - the secret to boosting your mood could be as simple as that

  Be thankful - cultivate gratitude

I dare you to give this a try.
Igniting your Light


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