Can you decide to be happy? I did a Google search. In 0.44 seconds over 242,000,000 results were at my finger tips. No, I did not read them all but I did find varied and interesting results. You can receive an MA Philosophy of Health and Happiness from University of Birmingham, UK or earn a Science of Happiness Certificate from UC Berkeley. You can earn a PhD in Positive Psychology.
Positive Psychology, first introduced as a field of study in 1998, is based on the premise you can learn to be happier just as you can learn a new technology or to be proficient at a sport. This rapidly growing field is shedding light on what makes us happy, the pursuit of happiness, and how we can lead more fulfilling, satisfying lives.
Maybe the better question is “Can you decide to learn to be happy?” Based on my research and experience, in most cases, undoubtedly, yes. Exceptions? Of course. But if your desire/wish/vision of your future self is to be happier, what is stopping you? Can you decide to learn to be happier? If your response is yes, here are a few steps for getting started.
5 Steps to Begin Your Journey to Happiness
1. Make the decision to improve your happiness. Make a commitment!
2. Create a clear vision of you being happier. What does happiness look like? Imagine your future self being happier. How does it feel? Where are you? Who’s with you? Without any concern of how to get there, create a picture or define the happiness you want.
3. Understand why it is important to be happier. How does your current happiness impact your life? If you don’t make changes, what will your life be like in the future? With positive changes, how will your life change? Understand the value of change.
4. Be honest about your starting place. Being truly honest about your state of happiness can be challenging and possibly upsetting. Most of us find it easier to imagine a positive future than to clearly state where we currently are. Knowing where you are allows you to plan and take a first step.
5. Pick an area to begin. Most likely there are many aspects to a happier you. Where would you like to begin? Picking a focus allows you to concentrate your efforts. Would you enjoy spending time with friends, creating a special “me time” place in your home or returning to a hobby you have not made time for over the years? Finding success in one area will quickly flow over into other areas of your life. Success builds confidence and leads to, you guessed it, more success.
Remember: This is just the beginning. Changing behaviors, habits, and routine of thoughts is no simple feat. The more consideration you put into the foundation of change the greater your chance for success.
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It is a controversial topic. Want to share your thoughts? Do YOU believe you can decide to be happy?
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