Building the Happiness Habit: Random Bits of Happiness

Are there ever moments that feel beyond your control? Where you’re thinking that “if only I had the power to change ____ or do ____?” If those, and similar, thoughts ever cross your mind, have no fear – you’re not the only one!

I think it’s a quite common human phenomenon to feel as if sometimes life is happening to you… However, I want to help you regain some of your personal power back. Although most times we have no control over what happens in the world around us, we always have control over one thing: ourselves. You may not be able to change certain events but you can always change how you react to those events.

Being able to be in charge of your own feelings, reactions, and responses is a powerful feat because it provides the power of choice. I can choose to be sad or I can choose to be happy. For example, someone cuts me off on the road. I notice their behavior and most likely will feel irritation, frustration, and even the makings of anger. However, when I push myself to remain aware, I can now choose to hold on to the irritation which will likely cause my emotions to escalate towards vengefulness or I can choose to let my frustration go and move on with the rest of my day. Just think about how many of life’s problems would immediately diminish if we could learn to choose how we respond!

I wanted to share with you a quote that highlights this notion of choice:

“There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point… The truly adult view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it.”  Richard Dawkins

The choice that Richard Dawkins is referring to is not the choice of controlling life’s events. Instead he is noting that we are each given the choice of how we view ourselves, and the various situations that occur each and every day.

So now that you’ve been equipped with the knowledge that your life and your reactions are all within your grasp, what will you do with this newfound information? How will you choose to find happiness in the random occurrences of an ordinary day?

When you take moments, every day, to stop and choose happiness, you will be surprised to find that being happy becomes second nature to you. It took me some time to build the happiness habit, but once I got the hang of it, even the smallest of things can now bring a smile to my face. For example, I will sometimes catch myself grinning when a stream of warm water runs down my back during a long shower or when a cool breeze blows across my face after an intense Bikram (hot) yoga session.

Ultimately, the bottom line is I choose to find joy in everyday life…