“Happiness is a choice, not a result. It starts with you, and when you choose happiness, it shines from within.”

It felt appropriate to use these photos as they were taken at probably my happiest point of 2016. You know when you smile so much it hurts, but you can’t stop because you’re so happy? Well, that’s me in these photos, walking along the streets of Sorrento – genuine heartfelt happiness.

I’m an advocate of prioritising happiness.

When did you last ask yourself the question, ‘Are you happy?’

In my opinion, if you’re not happy doing something – why do it? A simple concept that so many of us forget to instil into every day life. I’ve spent years of my life making decisions based on other people’s happiness, which I’m not saying is a bad thing, it can just take it’s toll. I mentioned in a previous post here that I’ve always been a ‘Yes Woman’, thinking those three letters will have a significant impact on my own personal happiness, as well as pleasing others.  It doesn’t always, in fact it only makes you more miserable when you have to then cancel seeing friends and events because you burnt out. The same can be said about saying No too often. Opening yourself up to new opportunities can also create happiness. Know that it’s okay to put your own happiness first, whatever the situation may be. You should never compromise on happiness. 

You know when you’ve had a bad day, and all you want to do is go home, make a cup of tea and binge watch Gilmore Girls? Happiness can result from something so simple, and that’s exactly the point I want to get at in this post. Not handbags and holidays, just small life decisions. It could be taking the dog for a walk, arranging Sunday brunch with your besties once a month, or just making a cup of coffee with the, as I like to call ‘fancy coffee’ (aka coffee pods), not bog standard coffee from the jar. You may have had a crappy day but what’s the point in wallowing in that negativity? Inject a small dose of ‘happiness’ into it and it can make the world of difference. It’s been proven to have health benefits too!

Saying yes to happiness means learning to say no to things and people that stress you out.

Of course it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, it can also be pretty tough, trust me. 2016 was a year of hard lessons – lots of lessons, and many life choices. There have been nights where I’ve cried myself to sleep because I’ve ultimately chosen happiness over ‘being practical’. Not upset about the decisions I’ve made, more frustration that I haven’t quite reached that goal yet – I’m an impatient soul. Life is all about making choices, and as scary as some of them may be sometimes, it’s important to stand by the ones that make you the happiest. No regrets, just mega motivation and sheer determination that you’ll make it out the other side as happy. That’s the plan, anyway.

Every morning you have a new opportunity to become a happier version of yourself.

How many of you hate your job? Like, actually hate it, dread going to work every morning, hate it? No, not all of us have the luxury to pick and choose which jobs to take, but we can all make small steps to be happier. It may be accepting that you can’t quit your job but acknowledging the fact that you can look for something better in the mean time, that will give you something positive to reflect on. It could be sending a gutsy email to a company you’d love to work for, despite there being no vacancies advertised. I’ve been that person, the go-getter, and it’s so empowering. To chase your dreams and not give up at the first, second or tenth hurdle. To be happy. We all have the choice of making a change to be happy.

I got a job from setting my sights on something I wanted and took a total leap of faith, it paid off. It didn’t turn out to be the ‘dream job’ I originally thought it might turn into, but I’m proud I took that chance. It’s funny how things turn out, but in some ways I felt a similar relief leaving the job that I felt when I got the job… Just walking away from something negative in your life can have a great impact on your happiness. If something isn’t going well, don’t let it get you down and trust what your gut tells you. Nobody else has the power to make you happy, that’s your job, to choose happiness and not let anyone get in your way of that. 

I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s worth it in the end.

I’ve had this conversation with friends and the response has been mixed. Some think that it’s not always ‘practical’ to choose happiness, whilst some see it as a way of life. What do you think? 

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