5 Simple Choices That Can Shift Your Day From Blah To Blissful

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Happy African-American woman smiling

Do you wake up in the morning feeling down because you just want to be happy —  but most days you just aren’t?

Do you wish you were like other people — the ones who are always happy, nothing gets them down? They are successful, have good friends, exude confidence and are just fun to be with.

Would you like more than anything to be even one of those things but find that you struggle to get there?

Everybody wants to be happy. It seems pretty simple doesn’t it? And it can be if you know how to reach out to get it. To choose the right things that put happiness within reach for you, and for everyone.

So, what can you choose if you just want to be happy?

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5 Choices That Can Make You Happy Every Day

Happiness is a muscle. You have to choose to strengthen it every day! Here's how: 

1. Choose truth.

You know those decisions that make your stomach hurt. The ones that you make because your brain tells you it's the “right” thing to do, not because it’s what you really want.

Yes. Those decisions. You probably made one today.

Those decisions are not based on your truth. They are based on some truth outside of yourself, some truth that is based on what everyone else says is "right." These decisions are not good for you and your body is telling you so.

Making decisions based on what you really want, what will truly be good for you, are decisions based on your truth. These kinds of decisions feel good in your body. These decisions allow you to sleep at night.

I recently sent a letter full of what I thought was constructive criticism to an organization I have been aligned with. I sent it not because I wanted to but because of pressure around me to do so. And that letter has wreaked havoc.

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I don’t regret sending the letter but I know that doing so has been very hard on me — it has actually sabotaged my happiness these last few weeks. I know that if I hadn’t sent it, I would have been happier, even though I know that my thoughts might be helpful.

Decisions not based on our truth can actually make us sick and definitely interfere with our happiness.

How do we stop making these unhealthy choices?

We listen to our bodies.

Next time, when presented with a decision that needs to be made, pause and check how the potential decision makes your body feel. Our bodies will only tell us the truth. If the decision makes you feel slightly nauseous then it's probably not a good one. If it makes your head hurt, the same. If it makes your heart leap, then that's it. That's a healthy decision.

Listen to your body. Unlike your brain, it will never lie to you!

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2. Choose love.

Everyone wants to love and be loved.

And, ideally, everyone would share their life with that ONE person. The one you curl up with at night and eat cereal with in the morning. The one whose hand you hold on the subway and with whom you binge watch “Ted Lasso” at night. You know the person. The one who makes your heart sing.

If you have a person, don’t let them go. And if you haven’t yet found one, believe that you will.

Even if you don’t have that person right now, know that you have other people in your life who love you: your sister, your best friend, your neighbor. While these people might not be romantic partners, they are people who you truly love and who truly love you in return.

This kind of love is unconditional and the kind of love that leads to true happiness.

Make sure that you have contact with someone who loves you every day. In person, on the phone or via text (last choice).

And don’t forget to love yourself. You are awesome. Tell yourself as often as you can. Because you are.

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3. Choose yourself.

You know how you choose to make everyone else happy first?

You go to that raunchy movie with your kids instead of that historical drama you want to see. Or do you visit your mother-in-law with your husband instead of working in the garden? We all do it. And it undermines our happiness.

Sometimes we do have to put someone else’s needs above our own but, really, it’s important to put ourselves first more often than not. Nobody else is going to take care of us and it’s important that we do so.

I spend much of my day caring for other people — and I love doing so. But it can leave me depleted and, sometimes, unhappy. To counteract the effects of giving all day, I make sure that I do something every day that replenishes me.

I take a walk or watch an episode (or two) of a trashy TV show. I get a massage or grab lunch with a friend. All of these things recharge my batteries and keep me from falling into a place of unhappiness that I might struggle to pull myself out of!

Finally, if you always put yourself last, you will come to believe that you deserve to be last. By choosing yourself, you are showing yourself that you deserve to be cared for and that will not only make you happier but draw other people to you. Happiness is contagious and what you want to put out into the world, I am guessing.

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4. Choose kindness.

Did you know being kind to someone else is one of the best ways to feel happy? It’s one of those things that many unhappy people are not aware of because they have never tried it. I wish they would.

Choosing kindness doesn’t have to be a big thing. Of course, giving your husband a trip to play golf for his birthday feels great but it’s the little things that make a difference.

Think about the look on that woman’s face when you raced after her to return the wallet that she left in the store. Or the way the barista reacted this morning when, after dealing with customer after customer who had not yet had their coffee, you thanked them with a big smile and a compliment.

How good did those things feel?  Did you find that you had a spring in your step that you might not have had before? I know I do.

Being kind is not hard to do but so many of us forget to be in this crazy, jam-packed and exhausting world that we live in. Making that small effort to make someone else happy can go a long way to making you feel happy too.

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5. Choose to believe.

A key ingredient in being happy is believing that you can be. Really. But I know that doing so is not an easy thing.

Why? Because when you are unhappy it’s almost impossible to believe that you ever could be happy.

When you are unhappy and you look ahead, know that you are doing so with that unhappy feeling in your gut. Your future life seems hopeless because you are unhappy right now.

But you have to believe. To have hope.

Why? Believing in anything is the best way to manifest it. Believe that you will get that job and you will. Believe that you will find that love and you will. Believe that you will be happy and you will.

So, how do we believe in the face of the hopelessness that you are currently feeling?

Visualize that job. Feel how it will feel to have it. Store that feeling in your body and summon it when you have doubt.

You can to the same with love. Picture that perfect someone. Feel how it will feel to be loved by them. Picture yourself happy and believe that it will happen.

It really works. Try it and see.

I know that you, and all of us, just want to be happy.

I know that many of us believe that the human condition is suffering but I believe that it doesn’t have to be. And we are in charge of our own happiness and can manifest it by the choices that we make!

Try it. Try putting yourself first, loving yourself and those around you, being kind, being truthful. Believing.

What a difference it will make. I promise.

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Mitzi Bockmann is a certified life and love coach. She helps clients find —and keep — love in this crazy world. For more insights, visit her website.

This article was originally published at Let Your Dreams Begin. Reprinted with permission from the author.