Many people find the phrase “happiness is a choice” as disturbing and unrealistic.
And they have valid reasons. After all, it’s difficult to tell someone to choose happiness who is suffering from depression or just received very bad news.
So, what exactly is the truth behind this saying that happiness is a choice? Can you really choose happiness no matter what’s happening in and around your life?
Well, the answer is not a straightforward one.
Is Happiness A Choice Or Emotion?
It is one of the most frequently asked questions about happiness on the internet. But interestingly, it is based on false perceptions.
The fact that we ask this question tells a lot about how little we know about happiness, choice, and emotion.
We put emotion and choice at odds with one other. We assume that emotions just happen to us and we do not have any control over them. Hence, we think happiness can either be a choice or an emotion, but not both.
But this is a very limited view of things. Yes, happiness is an emotion or an emotional state where you feel pleasant emotions, but it can also be a choice.
There are even scientific proofs that happiness is a choice.
Why Are We So Wrong About Happiness?
Now, the question arises, how could we know so little about the one thing that matters the most to us?
After all, it is general happiness that we seek above everything in life.
The answer to this question lies in the process of how we learn about happiness from society, culture, and the environment we grow up.
According to happiness guru Dr. Srikumar Rao, the reason is that all we learn from society is actually how to be unhappy.
All of society’s rules and ideas of happiness tell us that we need this or that to be happy and we must be unhappy if this or that happens. And we keep following these rules without ever judging or observing the fallacy beneath the surface.
These rules and beliefs always keep us in a state of wanting for more and more. And this becomes our default setting.
We keep postponing our happiness for the things we want to happen in our lives. And once they happen, some new desires flare up in our minds and we want more.
The cycle keeps going. And we can never reach a lasting peace.
How Do You Choose Happiness?
Now, the first step that you have to take in order to make happiness a choice in life is to unlearn all that you have learned from society about happiness.
You have to know that those bullshit rules or Brules (as Vishen Lakhiani, the author of Mindvalley’s Becoming Limitless quest calls them) are not in line with the true nature of things.
In reality, happiness occurs within your mind. It is all about the inner play of chemicals that is going on inside your brain.
It is just that society has programmed the chemical to release in a certain manner. Once you reprogramme your mind, you become free from the external factors and reach the state of constant inner joy and happiness.
How To Rewire Your Mind To Know Happiness Is A Choice
We have learned that we can reprogram our minds to choose happiness at will. Now, let’s focus on how can we do so.
We have already seen that to make happiness a choice, we first have to unlearn all the Brules society has taught us about happiness.
After that, we will have to get out of the individualized egoic consciousness by raising the level of consciousness we are living our lives in. Once we get ourselves freed from the limiting beliefs and ego consciousness, we will be able to entune our minds to receive universal and automatic joy.
The joy that is forever there without the effect of any external stimuli. Once we tap into the joy that is the natural state of universal existence, we won’t even have to choose it. It will just be there through all seasons, dark or bright.
Until then, we have to keep training ourselves to reach that state by making conscious choices to be happy. Once you reach that state, you can even be happy in the darkest of times knowing that it is the right thing to do.