If you do a search for happiness on my site, you will quickly see that it’s one of my favorite topics to write about. It should come as no surprise then that I’m jumping up and down with excitement to share today’s release of Linda Joy’s newest book: “Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Choosing Happiness. My friend Linda is a best selling author and publisher, so she knows how to write good stuff. Her book “Choosing Happiness” features the soul-inspiring stories of 27 amazing women who share their intimate stories of transformation.
If there is one message I share with anyone who will listen, it’s this:
You choose how you feel.
Feeling angry? What can you do to shift to a better feeling thought? Take a walk, play ball with the neighbor kids, sing and dance to your favorite music?
Feeling sad? What would it take for you to find a happy thought instead? What makes you smile, what do you most appreciate, what are you most proud of?
Not only do I share this message with all of my coaching clients, I also share it with friends, family, and neighbors. We live in a society addicted to negative emotion and the accompanying adrenaline rush from anger and agitation. It’s because of this “cultural symptom” to negative emotion that I hear daily the “oh woe is me” story. It’s too common for people to make themselves victims of circumstance by claiming helplessness. Even more common is refusing to accept any responsibility for one’s feelings, because the blame is always being placed on someone else.
This mindset needs to change. It’s unhealthy to believe that revealing in a negative space is better than choosing to bask in a positive one.
While I don’t follow around my clients, friends, and neighbors to ensure they are putting my words into practice, I do live with my husband and three of seven children. That gives me plenty of opportunities to see “choosing happiness” in practice.
I’m telling you; choosing happiness works!
Does this mean my hubby and kids are happy-go-lucky all the time? Of course not. But it does mean that when they realize they are being sucked down the emotional rabbit hole, they acknowledge their power of choice to do something about it.
Sometimes they falter, like this past weekend when my youngest son had a meltdown over his math homework. All I did was remind him that how he felt was his choice. And then I asked, “How do you want feel?” A few minutes later, I began to see and feel a shift in his energy. He signed audibly (release is great!), his body visibly relaxed, and his voice softened.
Who wants to stay in a place of unhappiness when #happiness can be claimed at any time?
— sheila callaham (@SheilaCallaham) February 11, 2015
Yet, some people do remain unhappy, and here’s one reason why.
Deepak Chopra, one of the most-renowned names in the field of mind-body medicine and personal transformation, explains that people who remain unhappy are waiting for someone else to make them happy. It is, he says, one of the biggest mistakes people make.
Happiness is not something someone else gives you. Unless you require the care of a medical professional, happiness will always be a feeling you must choose for yourself. If that feels difficult for you right now, I’ve got three simple exercises for you. Whether you pick one or all of these practices, you will notice a positive difference in how you feel!
1) Choose your company wisely
Ever noticed how smiles seem to spread easily? Negative emotions are like that, too. That means you should carefully choose who you spend time with. It also means that when you find yourself amongst negative people, you’ll need to find a way out. Spending time with naysayers is an energy drainer — a mental and emotional downer. Fire chronically negative family and friends and spend your time with those who inspire you, those who know how to find the rainbow in a rainstorm, those whose desire to choose happiness is as strong and passionate as yours.
2) Watch your words
Be mindful of your language and stop yourself from saying anything negative about yourself or anyone else. Words are the result of your thoughts, so when you feel something negative about to emerge from your mouth stop, check your thoughts, and shift to something positive. Not sure how to do that? Consider this little trick: “Wouldn’t it be nice if….” When you think about what would be nice to see, have, hear, or experience then your thinking shifts to a higher vibration, and so does your feeling of happiness. Yes, it’s really this simple.
3) Practice gratitude
When you see something that makes your heart feel lighter, say a silent “Thank you” to the universe. Maybe it’s a beautiful bird sitting on your windowsill. Perhaps you hear a child singing happily while playing in the park. Maybe it was a compliment you received, or that you found the perfect parking spot when you were rushing out to do some shopping during your lunch hour. No matter what makes your heart feel joy, make a practice of acknowledging it. The more gratitude you offer, the more you will find for which you can be grateful! It only takes a couple of seconds to acknowledge the good in your life. When you tune into all the good around you, then you begin to see how wonderful life is. Make the words, “attitude of gratitude” your mantra, and see how much better you feel.
Do you have a favorite happiness technique? I’d love for you to share it in the comments below!
Want more great words of wisdom about choosing happiness? Be sure to check out Linda’s new book, Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Choosing Happiness. Grab it today to get access to over 40 transformational gifts! (Limited time only)