In the same way we select our clothes every morning, we can choose our thoughts. We can choose a mindset that cultivates joy, focuses on the positive, and appreciates the present. Choosing happiness does not mean that life is without pain or struggle. Instead, it’s about acknowledging emotions – both the good and the heavy – and focusing on the good, knowing that hardship is only temporary. This perspective shift can have a significant impact on your attitude and outlook in life.

Here’s how to choose happiness in your day-to-day life.

Practice Gratitude

An attitude of gratitude can indeed change your outlook. Focusing on the things you have versus what you don’t can shift your mindset and allow you to focus on positive things. Appreciation for the little things can truly change your perspective.

Do Things for Other People

One powerful tool for choosing happiness is serving others. Giving back allows you to take your focus off of yourself and turn it onto the needs of other people. Volunteering in your community not only gives you a sense of purpose but also contributes to your psychological well-being.

Focus on the Present Moment

Another tool for choosing happiness is by focusing on the present moment. Mindfulness allows you to stay grounded and focus entirely on the present moment. Taking stock of the present moment also detracts your mind from wandering to worry or doubt.

Remain Active 

Exercise is known to contribute to happiness and overall life satisfaction. Get out, break a sweat, and release those “happy hormones.” Whether hiking, boxing, yoga, cycling, or dancing, pick a physical activity that brings you joy. 

Learn Something New

Our minds are designed to remain active, and a part of that means constantly learning and absorbing new information. Science shows that learning is a clear path to happiness. Let go of the fear of embarrassing yourself and try learning a new language, a new art form, or a new skill. Exploring new environments, having new experiences, and encountering new perspectives hone our problem solving skills and our creativity, which ultimately drives happiness.

Limit Comparison

Another proven tool to help you choose happiness in your daily life is to limit comparison. Constantly looking at what other people have or what they are doing can impact our self-esteem. So, instead of constantly scrolling through social media and focusing on other people’s lives, focus your attention on more productive things like the activities listed above.

Laugh More

A part of choosing happiness is laughter. When you laugh, it releases endorphins and relieves stress. Watch a funny movie, spend time with people who bring you joy, or attend a comedy show. Reduce the physical symptoms of stress and let out your biggest belly laugh.