Is Happiness A Choice

Is Happiness A Choice

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Is Happiness A Choice


Many believe that happiness is a choice rather than something that we may, or may not experience due to fate or situation. There is opposition to this train of thought and indeed some situations challenge this idea to the extreme, for example if one experiences a tragedy, how can this lead to happiness? But it does seem that we do have a degree of control over how we choose to interpret those events that happen to us and whether or not we are able and willing to look at the positives that they bring. The old adage "every cloud has a silver lining" is worth remembering, and those that are able to see it are generally happier and more at peace with their situations than those that are not.

Dr Martin Seligman is Director of the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center and founder of the concept of Positive Psychology. Positive Psychology is a new branch of psychology focussing on the study of positive emotions among other things. Dr. Seligman's research has shown that achieving happiness is possible, independent of circumstance, in other words, that we can choose to be happy.

Positive thinking is another tool that is said to bring about a change in people's outlook and eventually emotion, leading to a happier and more contented state. Deliberately employing positive thinking is a choice, and if it is done to achieve the goal happiness, then it could be said that we are choosing to be happy.

The United States Declaration of Independence also seems to suggest that happiness is a choice. If we can pursue happiness, as Thomas Jefferson's phrase suggests ("the pursuit of happiness") then this is something we choose to do, adding to the theory that happiness is a choice.

The Happiness Institute in Sydney, Australia offers six strategies for achieving happiness. Clarity (of goals and direction), Healthy Living, Optimism, Others (the relationships in your life), Strengths (ones qualities and attributes) and Enjoy (live in and appreciate the moment). When written down vertically in a page, the first letters of each of these words spell out "Choose", further adding to the theory that happiness in indeed, a choice.

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Is Happiness A Choice

Is-Happiness-Marrying-Your-Best-Friend      In today's western society, marriage has less of a functional role than it did in the past. Historically arranged marriages brought benefits to a family as a whole, or even a country. Children of parents, be they royal or other, were brought together by the union of marriage in order to create a bond between the two groups. Nowadays in western society, marriage tends to result much more from the choice of two individuals who wish to officially and legally bind themselves together for the rest of their lives. Therefore, these present day unions are much more reliant on the ability of those individuals involved to maintain them, and one extremely important factor in this maintenance is happiness. More..