A while back I shared with you a few of my new favorite blogs. I think the reason these blogs appeal to me so much is because they focus on choosing to be happy. I like to be happy. I cannot stand to be unhappy, and I always like to be shown a new perspective on choosing happiness. Sometimes I simply need to be reminded that it is my choice to be happy.

I like to think myself a pretty happy person. When things are going my way, that is. Sometimes I can be a tad…irrational, moody, worried, stressed, dare I go on? Not always, but frequently enough that I’ve started to notice it more now that I’m recognizing my choice in these matters.

Is it just me or does it sometimes seem really difficult to change your outlook? In the heat of an angry/stressful/sad moment, it’s sometimes hard to say, “I’m going to choose to be happy.”

I may not have a great deal of experience with making the choice to be happy amidst great adversity, but I’ve learned with little things (especially valuing myself) it may not be easy to be happy but it is easy to think of all you’ve been given and be grateful. Gratitude leads to happiness.

I am staring at myself in the mirror, criticizing the lack of tone on my backside and the ever-present cellulite. At this point I realize I have a choice to be happy: I can choose to sit and pick at myself or I can be grateful for a healthy body that snuggles with my husband, walks with my dog, and is capable of being pushed to the limits when I do choose to really go at it at the gym (or that has been getting stronger by the day as I just finished day 8 of the 30 Day Shred). I’ll be honest it isn’t easy. Sometimes I want to cry because I feel so ungrateful for this healthy, strong body I’ve been blessed with when the flood of gratitude doesn’t always come surging in, but I focus on all things good about my body (there are things about my body that I wouldn’t trade with anyone–I think about those)until the feelings pass. It doesn’t mean I love my body at that moment, but it means I’m no longer focused on disliking it (or rather hating it). This is major progress for me.

Zach and I are sitting in church and it’s fast Sunday. This means baby blessings –3 of them! I can choose happiness. I can I bow my head and begin to worry about whether or not I’ll ever get the chance to hear Zach bless our child. Will I have the opportunity to carry a child at some point? If not, can we afford to adopt? (We haven’t been blessed with children yet, but we haven’t further investigated it. Therefore we don’t know if there’s more to it or if it’s simply timing–this is probably the most you’ll hear me discuss this on here for right now). This worry will not make me happy. Or, I can choose gratitude.

Gratitude that I have someone sitting next to me holding my hand during the blessing that I am madly in love with. Someone that I have no doubts about raising a family with. I’m sitting beside the one person aside from my Heavenly Father that can help me through anything. I am so grateful for him. I’m grateful for the childless weekends where we can stay up LATE and sleep in and cuddle on the couch with snacks and our shows. We will rejoice when we get the chance to welcome a new spirit into our home, but why focus on what we don’t have yet? We have something great right now! I choose to be grateful for the relationship and time I have with my husband. I am happy.

I don’t want to go to work or stay late at work. I am feeling unmotivated and grumpy. I can focus on my lower-than-I-deserve paycheck. I can focus on the politics and demands that make my job less than enjoyable at times. I can focus on the stress of my job. Or I can choose to be grateful.

I can be grateful for my job and my education. I can be grateful for the fact that I have a great boss who trusts me and gives me as much flexibility in my schedule as he can. I can be grateful for the students that love me and that are learning from me so willingly. I can be grateful that I work with a lot of people that I love and respect and that I get the chance to learn every day. I can choose gratitude and it makes all the difference at work.

It works for everything.

Choose gratitude over grumpiness.

Choose gratitude over envy.

Choose gratitude over worry.

Choose gratitude over pride.

Choose gratitude over grudges.

Choose gratitude and you choose happiness.

It’s that simple.

How do you feel about the choice to be happy? What do you do to choose happiness?