Searching for Happiness – Happiness is a Choice

Human beings are such interesting creatures. We are the only creatures that place personal desire above safety and health.

For thousands of years, humans have walked this earth like nomads of the soul, searching for happiness.

Happiness is this way. No, this way. If you do this you will be happy. No, wait, this is what really makes you happy.

Did you hear about this car? This job? This brand? If you look like this you will be happy forever. If only I was younger I would be happier, if only I was older.

Humans roam all corners of the earth searching high and low for this elusive emotion. What makes one happy today will not do the job tomorrow and what makes you happy doesn’t do the trick for me.

So how do we find it? Where is it?

What if it can’t be found at all, what if in all this searching we are just confusing ourselves and wasting our time?

What if happiness is just a choice?

Imagine if the big fat key to the big fat door is that our well being is nothing more than a choice. A choice of picking out a fresh pair of underwear in the morning.

What if happiness is just like meditating? What if instead of focusing on breathing we focus on happiness? No pressure or force, just concentration. When we become distracted we just bring the focus right back to happiness.

Sounds so simple.

But how can we bring our attention back to it if we still don’t know what it is?

These tips will help you to shift your focus to happiness when you become distracted by your own feelings. Just like breathing in meditation use these tools to help you focus on happiness.

1. Create a Happiness List

Write out a list of things that make you happy. Why do I suggest doing this? If happiness is a choice then choose to do one of the things that bring you delight every day. Check out my 30 day self care challenge to get you started!

You are choosing joy by partaking in an act that brings you positive emotions. Makes sense right? Having a list to choose from when you need a boost or motivation will make this process easier for you!

2. Keep it Simple

If you’re holding out for meeting the man of your dreams, winning the lottery or getting your dream job you are probably setting yourself up for unhappy times ahead. I am not saying that having goals, dreams or standards is a waste of time. Definitely not. What I am saying is that telling yourself that you will be happy once you get those things is a surefire way to set yourself up for failure.

Happiness isn’t about those things. Ask the people who have success, money, and perfect careers, these people have unhappy times like anyone else. Begin looking at what you already have, keep in simple and focus your attention there.

3. Look at Photos

Open your phone, Facebook or photo album and look at your memories. Photos are a great way to remember good times of happiness in your life. Most people are smiling in photos. Why? To remember a moment of happiness, to remember themselves as happy. Look back at that secret moment of happiness that your past self-tried to leave you. Look at the past moments of joy that your friends and family tried to leave you through their smiles in your photos.

4. Leave Reminders

Currently, I have two quotes as a wallpaper on my phone. “Don’t make assumptions” and “Don’t take anything personally” a personal mantra to me. I used to have “Choose happiness” this worked so well for me. Place a background on your phone, set a reminder in your schedule, write it on your fridge, set a reminder on your computer background. Place a reminder anywhere and everywhere you need or want, to remind you throughout the day to focus on happiness.

5. Vision Board

Head to the dollar store and pick up a small or large bulletin board. Cut out images or quotes from magazines or print some things from the internet and create a happiness collage for yourself. Place this on your fridge, in your bedroom or anywhere you like where you will see it daily. Create a new one every few months to keep things fresh. This will serve as another reminder to choose happiness.

6. Happiness Journal

Have you heard of The Five Minute Journal? This is an another great tool to remind you to choose happiness at the beginning of your day. Even using your own journal would be a good place to start. The idea is simple, write out the things you are grateful and happy for first thing in the morning. This will set the tone for the entire day ahead and is a great way to set the focus on happiness.




  1. Chris M. Regier | 21st Jul 16

    Thanks. I love the idea of doing one thing that makes me happy every day. Why is something so simple so difficult at times?

    • StephJ | 21st Jul 16

      I have no idea, it is so hard for people to take care of themselves and remember to be happy. it’s a big fat mystery to me. Thank you for reading!

  2. pranjalijo | 21st Jul 16

    Thanks for liking my poem! Because that brought me here, to this wonderful article. In the world where people overlook simple moments of happiness, your article will be eye opening.

    • StephJ | 21st Jul 16

      Oh thank you so much! I am happy you enjoyed my post 🙂

  3. fromdreamtoplan | 21st Jul 16

    Great post! #1, #5 and #6 are definitely my favourite!! 🙂

    Lisa |

    • StephJ | 21st Jul 16

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  4. lakeafton | 21st Jul 16

    It’s where I am. It’s choosing to work at what I enjoy even when it’s tiring and frustrating. It’s the people who surround me with love.

    • StephJ | 21st Jul 16

      It’s so true! Thank you for reading 🙂

  5. Searching for Happiness – Happiness is a Choice – "It's Time To Begin"… | 21st Jul 16

    […] Source: Searching for Happiness – Happiness is a Choice […]

  6. reshma krishnan | 21st Jul 16

    kinda funny we posted similar Happiness posts the same day, its kinda neat, I love your list!

    • StephJ | 21st Jul 16

      Awesome! There must be something in the air 🙂

  7. rfdumais | 21st Jul 16

    Great post! Thanks for the ideas!


  8. renedith | 21st Jul 16

    Happiness really is a matter of choice. I feel that more people are understanding that happiness is found within them and not ‘out there’. Great post and wonderful tips. thanx, ren

    • StephJ | 22nd Jul 16

      Thank you for reading! It really is true 🙂

  9. live_a_life_less_ordinary | 21st Jul 16

    Thank you for posting this. 🙂 I saw something similar to your happiness list in another blog I follow a few months ago. I wanted to do one for myself, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I will eventually.

    I’ve struggled with depression in some for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know what it feels like to be happy as a general frame of mind (as opposed to something momentary and fleeting). I know I have to take steps to change my thinking.

    • StephJ | 22nd Jul 16

      Staying positive and focusing on the happy things you have in your life (there are many) is a great place to start 🙂 Staying positive is easier said than done but every little thing you no matter how small is a step towards happiness! Thank you for reading and lots of love to you!

  10. Elize About Beauty | 22nd Jul 16

    Thanks for liking my most recent post! It brought me to your page and this post – exactly what I needed to read! Great writing and well said! Elize

  11. mydeardiary9 | 22nd Jul 16

    I really liked this list, and will probably incorporate some for myself 🙂
    Thank you stopping to like my post. It gave me a chance to follow yours 🙂

  12. mydeardiary9 | 22nd Jul 16

    I really liked this list, and will probably incorporate some for myself 🙂
    Thank you for stopping to like my post. It gave me a chance to follow yours 🙂

  13. Searching for Happiness – Beginning the Journey – ScaleSimple | 11th Aug 16

    […] if you are beginning your journey towards happiness and you have been brought here because of change in your life I commend you to take control and […]

  14. shmooz | 15th Aug 16

    I’ve kept Gratitude journals; making a list of 5 things to be grateful for- and made 1 rule; Do not list my 5 kids as the 5 items. Sometimes I was glad for the sun shining. Always it helped keep me aware of what I truly valued and gave me heart to continue on.
    Best to you, Lauren
    Thanks for visiting my blog!

    • StephJ | 15th Aug 16

      That is so lovely! Thanks for reading 🙂

  15. laureninspire | 19th Aug 16

    A fantastic read. Really inspiring!

  16. Gal Hanukaev | 22nd Aug 16

    Well said! I enjoyed reading that 🙂 Great points at the end. My girlfriend is doing a gratitude journal and I am happy to be part of it, lol 😛
    All of you are welcome to visit my blog and tell me what you thought 😀

  17. Lori Schumaker of Seaching for Moments | 27th Aug 16

    Hi Steph,
    These are 6 fabulous tips to keeping happiness alive! I just finished doing a book launch for Jennifer Dukes Lee’s “The Happiness Dare”. It’s a fantastic book you may enjoy! For me, at the core of all my happiness is my faith life. The peace, hope, and joy that fills my soul even in the most difficult of times is what sticks. But happiness goes hand-in-hand with faith and with doing. We can’t expect God to simply fill us with happiness if we aren’t willing to do the work to actually live out happiness! There are plenty of professing Christians who do not live with happiness, just as there are many non believers doing everything they can, but just can’t seem to find a lasting happiness. Such a great topic! Thank you so much for sharing hope alongside me at #MomentsofHope! It was a blessing to meet you!!


    • StephJ | 27th Aug 16

      Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comment and for reading my post. You are very right no matter what someone believes I think it comes down to believing in yourself and dedicating your life to a life of faith, hope and a desire for goodness towards yourself and those you care about. It is sometimes harder than it sounds but the truth is we are all “searching” and we all share in this search together bonding us as humans. Happiness is everywhere, even in comments like yours today. Thanks so much! Cheers!

  18. Yolanda | 20th Sep 17

    You really nailed it. I do truly believe happiness is a choice. In life we have so many choices and choosing to focus on happiness – on what we have to appreciate is so positive. Thanks so much for the reminder 🙂

  19. Liz | 21st Sep 17

    Excellent advice! A few years ago I identified a few things that make me really happy, and I always try to do at least one of those each day. The daily activities are easy things usually – reading, writing, and running – and the “bigger” activities are things I fill my weekends with – hiking or backpacking, photography, and exploring. Once you make a habit of focusing on those things that make you happy you can really influence your own mood 🙂

    • stephaniewp | 21st Sep 17

      It is so true! It is a simple concept but once you accept it and stop looking for other influences out of your control to help you find happiness then you discover a whole new perspective on life 🙂 I wish more people understood this concept!

  20. thenafranssen | 21st Sep 17

    Love this, it’s important to remember you in all of this. Thank you for writing!

  21. Beaton | 21st Sep 17

    The list of things that make me happy keeps getting longer evryday I become easier to please I guess, its in the simple things, thats wisdom me thinks

  22. Becca Barracuda | 21st Sep 17

    Love the idea of choosing happiness as simple as making a “choice like picking out a fresh pair of underwear in the morning.” Great suggestions, too!

  23. #ThrowBack Thursday – Searching for Happiness – Happiness is a Choice | Pain Pals | 21st Sep 17

    […] to read more?  Follow this link for the rest of a fab […]

  24. Crystal // Dreams, etc. | 22nd Sep 17

    I love the idea of leaving reminders for yourself! They can sometimes come at just the right time on Twitter and Instagram, but still… to leave them for yourself will help make sure they’re around you when you need them. 🙂

  25. DrKLeeBanks | 22nd Sep 17

    Excellent post! Yes, we can choose to be happy or to be miserable, we can choose to be positive or to be negative, we can choose to forgive or to hold grudges. It’s up to us! I saw a meme today on Facebook, I think, that said something like, “Staying angry at someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” In other words – negative feelings only cause us harm!

    • stephaniewp | 22nd Sep 17

      Yes! I wrote a post in my searching for happiness series called the poison of resentment and it is based on those exact things! I feel like it all adds up int he end so being mindful of your feelings really is key!

  26. I tripped over a stone. | 23rd Sep 17

    This is incredible!!! I’m trying to share it as much as humanly possible, I also printeded it out and will be following every suggestion. I so needed this in my life right NOW. Thank you! ~Kim

    • stephaniewp | 25th Sep 17

      Awesome! I am glad you can relate! I have a whole Searching for Happiness series on my site also if you are interested in checking it out.

Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply