September 29, 2014

C'mon be Happy

I believe that all life is a choice. Everything we do. Everything we are. Everything we believe and everything we feel is a choice we make. I choose to be happy every day. People may say I'm being Pollyanna or I'm living in a fantasy world. They may say it's impossible to be happy all the time because of all the "bad things" that happen. I am a behaviorist. That means I believe things are neutral. It is our thoughts about things and what we choose to focus on that gives meanings to things.

Given a choice between being happy and being sad or upset or pissed off, I choose to be happy. I find it allows me to deal with whatever life throws at me. I am able to react faster and more effectively to any challenge. More importantly, why invite negativity into your life. Being happy reduces stress.

People don't believe me when I say there are benefits of choosing to be happy. But there are.

  1. Reduce stress and anxiety. As I mentioned above, choosing to be happy helps reduce stress and anxiety. When you are happy your brain releases the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is known as Happiness Hormone. It allows you to focus your energy on things that are more beneficial to your quality of life rather than concentrate on what you can't control.
  2. Longer life expectancy  High levels of serotonin have been linked to the management of depression, reducing obesity, lower blood pressure, and emotional stability but the benefits of choosing happiness on your health goes well beyond that. Being happy can also extend your lifespan. In a study of nuns' diaries from 1930s, psychologist counted the number of "positive words" and "negative words." Some nuns were full of happy thoughts while others were more gloomy. It was enough of a discrepancy to allow the modern day psychologists to separate the nuns into groups of "happy nuns" and "not so happy nuns." After entering the convent the nuns had a very similar existence in their eating, working and sleeping patterns. The psychologists discovered that two thirds of the "not so happy" nuns died before their 85th birthday. Over 90% of the "happy nuns" were still alive in 2006, which was when the study was done. On average, the "happy nuns" lived nine years longer than the "not so happy" nuns.
  3. Expand your horizons. When you are happy you are more open to view the world as an opportunity rather than a challenge. You become more playful and willing to try new experiences. This in turn, improves the quality of your life.
  4. Problem solving. Choosing happiness allows you to resolve challenges more quickly and more creativity. When you are happy you rid your brain of frustration. Frustration focuses your energy on the issues while happiness allows you to creatively focus your energy on solutions.
  5. Better relationships. Choosing happiness will allow you to manifest and maintain better relationships with others. Your happy energy will attract other to you. People will want to be your friend. You will be better able to appreciate your friends and partner and show that appreciation in more, creative ways. Choosing happiness will also increase your enjoyment in your sex life!
Happiness is a choice. You need to consciously cultivate an attitude of happiness. When you do you will see both large and small changes in yourself and in how others view you. It will allow you to be more productive, entertaining, fun to be around and change your world view to a more optimistic one.

So c'mon be happy!

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