Happiness is a Choice?

My view on happiness (and emotions in general)

Every time I see or hear something that implies that happiness is a choice, I feel mixed emotions. I understand and agree with the logic behind it, but still a part of this belief makes me uneasy. I agree that if you actively choose to look at the positive instead of the negative, life becomes a little less of a struggle. Your mental outlook has a huge influence on how you interpret and live your life. Always being negative and self-deprecating will affect your demeanor whether you notice it or not. Deciding to be more positive can lighten your mood, and overall make being happy more achievable.

However, saying “happiness is a choice,” seems to imply that people who aren’t happy are actively and defiantly choosing not to be, when that’s not the reality of it all. Very few things are that simple. Generally speaking you can’t decide your initial, subliminal feelings. Emotions are a result of the chemicals in your brain, after all. The actions of yourself or others can influence your feelings, but in the end you can’t choose to feel a certain way about anything. All you can do is understand why you feel the way you do and react accordingly.

It can be difficult to be in control of your emotions and it takes time to train your mind to be stronger than and to reason with the way you feel. It’s okay to be happy just as it’s okay to be unhappy; what matters is how you react upon those emotions. You can’t fight what chemicals and how much of them are being produced (without external help or guidance) but you can decide “this isn’t how I want to feel… what can I do to modify this?”

Even more than that, happiness, along with every other emotion, is subjective. What makes you happy won’t necessarily make someone else happy. Happiness isn’t definitive either. There isn’t a clear cut way to make yourself or other people happy. Some days you just aren’t happy, just as other days you are. What once made you happy  won’t necessarily make you happy in the future. It is ever-changing. Happiness is fluid and intangible — never to be fully realized and possessed. Therefore, there is no secret key to maintaining a constant stream of happiness forever. Lastly, happiness is also influenced by things beyond our control. We can’t control other people and their actions and it takes time to create the type of life you want to live. It’s not helpful to tell someone to “look on the bright side of things” when they are constantly being bombarded on the daily from stressors.

So as a tip, moving into 2019 and beyond, don’t tell people they should, “just be happy,” to, “count their blessings,” or anything along those lines. Allow people to feel the way they do without judgement as you would want the same for yourself. As always, try your best not to make anyone feel any negative way. And lastly, take the initiative to train your own mind to be able to reason with the way you feel.

Why You Doin’ This?

Reason why I started a blog

So lately people around me have been writing blogs and starting Youtube channels, documenting their lives, thoughts, and challenges. The reason why I enjoy social media so much is because it serves as a platform for people to share whatever they want and gives the opportunity for others to relate. What better a platform than a blog? I have been considering doing this for a while now. The idea really stuck during summer but every time since the thought came up I pushed it away. I wasn’t even sure what exactly I would be writing about. But since I have basically nothing else to do right now and need some sort of creative outlet, it seems fitting. Writing is something I have always done; for some reason I’m drawn to it. It’s something no one really knows I do, until now. I remember in middle school having to write a book of poetry and though school projects were always the worst I didn’t mind that one. Even analyzing poetry and texts and listening to my interpretations compared with others has always and probably will always interest me. Bet that’s why I’m so good at overanalyzing.

I never really understood why I’ve been drawn to writing. It’s obvious now, I like to write. Whenever someone caught me writing, I felt the need to hide. Writing this my dad walked by me and I felt the urge to switch to online shopping out of habit. It’s the things I’m most passionate about that make me the most nervous. Failure, not being good enough, even worse just being flat out terrible are all fears that make me the most anxious. When you’re bad at what you love to do, it can be disheartening. I used to rather never know then to know. Now I know better than that.

I didn’t realize until now, but I only have three goals in my life. The first is true happiness. Happiness is something different to everyone; maybe one day I’ll share what my happiness is. The second is   to inspire. If anything I decide to share or have to say means something or makes a difference to even one person, I’d be on the road to being content. The problem is I’m not a good public speaker; it’s something I’m trying to better myself with. My shyness is something that developed from my experiences; I wasn’t always shy. This is another reason a blog is more fitting for me. Another reason why I take advantage of social media.

With all of that said, my first piece of advice, a lesson I’ve learned, stop being afraid. Don’t be afraid to do what you love. Don’t be afraid to show it off and don’t be afraid of constructive criticism. It only makes you better. The nervousness and fear will dissipate with time. The fact that there is any nervousness or fear probably means it’s the right move for me. This idea has been floating through my mind for a long time but ideas mean nothing if you don’t act on them. People don’t know what you don’t say; you can’t inspire by staying silent. So, here’s what I have to say.