Happiness is an attitude

If you change the way you look at things, things you look at change. Net photo

Circumstances should not dictate when or when not to be happy. We chose to be happy or sad, regardless of what surrounds us. Life is full of good and bad things. Those poor souls who do not realise that they have chosen to be sad will forever overlook many good things, amplify the bad things in life, and accelerate the ageing process. And this will only make them sadder, more depressed and a burden to the people around them.

People who choose to be happy also encounter unhappy situations, they take responsibility for what they did wrong and try to make their life better. Sad people reject personal responsibility and claim that they are merely the product of a bad environment (bad parents, genes, bad schools, bad politicians, bad bosses, a bad world, etc.). Happiness activates anesthetics that block some of our pain, while constant complaining intensifies the pain.

People who choose to be happy take personal responsibility and learn how to make sad situations better. They are aware of aches and pain, but they often have a strong immune systems. They tend to live longer, happier, more productive lives.

They also avoid unnecessary situations. They seldom say: “I know I shouldn’t do this, but I’m going to do it anyway.” They eat well, exercise frequently, treat others with respect, interact well in social settings, have good friends, and become exemplary role models for others to imitate. They may cry at a funeral, but they quickly recover from sad situations, move on, and become productive once again.

Responsible individuals pay attention to subtle mechanisms of “cause and effect”, and they learn from the mistakes made by others, avoiding “trial and error.” They do take calculated risks and make mistakes, but they learn to not repeat yesterday’s errors. They don’t continue to do the things that failed yesterday and foolishly expect things to get better tomorrow.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Not everything goes according to plan. But you have the power to make things better.

Happiness is an attitude, not a temporary emotion  like joy. Therefore, we have the ability to be happy even when we experience other emotions.

Agaba is an aspiring writer at Inyange Girls School of Science

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