Beliefnet
Inspiration Report

I’ve been your faithful Beliefnet editor and Inspiration blogger for more than a year now. Whenever people ask me what I do, I tell them that I write about how to be happy. Almost immediately, their next question is, “So what’s the secret to happiness?”

When I first started this job, I used to say things like “Be yourself”, “Love Yourself” and of course good ol’ fashioned gratitude. And yeah, that’s still true. But now that I’ve had some interesting times and have been forced to put all my “feel-good” advice to the test, my response has changed.

The real secret to happiness? It’s all in your head.

It’s the way you look at life. Your perception can turn stress into a challenge, choose love over fear and make good days out of any day. Your brain is a marvelous machine. It can take anything around you and turn it into whatever you want. So little of life is what happens to you. Everything hinges on what you think.

You can be happy whenever and for however long you want to simply by deciding that happy is what you want to be. When you make that choice, you seek out whatever makes you happy and you naturally avoid what deflates you. You’ll change that sad monologue in your head that recites all your problems; you’ll put a muzzle on your inner critic.

And yes, it’s true that life just sucks sometimes, and despite your best efforts, bad things will definitely happen to you. But there is a tremendous amount of truth in the whole “making lemonade out of lemons” concept. It mostly starts with you deciding, come hell or high water, you’re going to be happy. Then acting accordingly.

This video was so good that I watched it twice. Listen to what psychologist Shawn Anchor has to say in this Ted Talk about what it means to have a brain wired for happiness.

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