People have control over what they think and how they act, both of those can affect your mood or attitude. I know how people say that it isn't and how you don't have control, but you can. You can train yourself to choose happiness. Depression might be the main antonym of happiness but that doesn't mean they can't train themselves either.
When our brains are able to run around like toddlers with no discipline than we are going to naturally cling to negative thoughts. Our DNA has been wired to see things that could be potential threats. So this is why we are naturally attuned to negative people, events, places, etc. However, on the flip side of the coin lies the truth that we all just want to be happy & not suffer, but unfortunately a mind that has NOT been trained will run around searching for negativity. It's our responsibility as individuals to retrain our minds when the negative thoughts creep in. Start to become the "seer or noticer" of your thoughts/feelings. Take notice when a negative thought/feeling arises. Ask yourself where it came from? Why is it here? Does it serve a purpose? Do I need to act in some way? Get to know yourself & your thought patterns. And CHOOSE to exercise your right to re-write them. Meditation, Hoop Dance & Yoga are what helped me immensely. Those 3 have made me more aware of my body, my thoughts, feelings, emotions and also how I treat others. I found an article online (I'll post below) that talks about how helping others can elevate your own mood. So seek to help someone in someway each day. Maybe it's sending a sweet text, holding the door open for someone or buying the car behind you a latte. You may find that other things also help elevate your mood (exercise, eating healthfully, calling a friend, getting outside, watching a funny movie). Whatever practice you use to fix your mind, it must be done EVERYDAY. Just like taking an anti-depressant. You must take it everyday...Not only when you want. I choose NO FDA drugs for my body...So I had to figure out more natural and healthy ways to fix my own depression/PMDD. Natural feels WAY better. And I can honestly say sitting here at 41 years old that I am happier now than I have ever been. Not because my life is perfect, but I choose to see it as perfect.
I suffer from a bad case of OCD. If you don't know what that entails, it drags me down everytime something bad happens, and runs that record endlessly in my head. When I did not know what it was, it used to be hell- my inside voice used to drag me down into the dumps and keep me there.
However since I realized it was due to a chemical imbalance in the brain, and after reading up about OCD, happiness and choices that one has- one thing I can say with ABSOLUTE certainty- Happiness is a choice!! It's not as simple as it may seem, it does take a lot of work (especially for someone like me), but once you realize it, it becomes very clear. Happiness is a choice, it is a state of being.
Thinking pattern plays an important role in any situation. Knowing own thought process and then covert into positive thinking may help in most of the situations, even at bad times. Most of the time our moods depend how we think about any situation. I think happiness is a choice, .
Except for cases involving depression caused by biological chemical imbalances in the brain, happiness is a choice. I don't believe changing your perception of the world can cause major changes from severe depression to happiness, but I believe it can from mild unhappiness to mild or moderate happiness. I personally suffered from biologically-caused depression (dysthymic disorder) for years and suffered constant anxiety and feelings of worthlessness. As the years became more stressful, I realized I could not live the way I have been living for the past few years. I would not make it.
I tried to change my thought processes about situations that caused me frustration and depression. I'm not going to lie, it took a lot of time and constant effort. I had to continuously tell myself that being depressed or anxious helps nothing, and that there is no reason I should spend another second of my life not being happy. Choosing to be grateful for what I had and choosing to to acknowledge that life goes on despite the worst of situations DID NOT make me happy. But it helped me live through my depression until the chemical imbalance subsided. It made me HAPPIER, NOT HAPPY.
Happiness is PARTIALLY due to choice, changing your perception to be happy, if done with true determination to TRY AND BE HAPPY, will always make you happier, but if you suffer from actual depression, it may not make you happy, but it may help you live to the point where your depression goes away and you will be happier than you have been in your entire life. Depression does go away eventually, I promise every single one of you. It's worth it to try and be happy and fight through it. Everyday I now wake up with a smile on my face because just a while ago I didn't even know what happiness felt like anymore, but now I'm the happiest person I know and that is because I choose to be happy. Why choose to be sad when you can choose to be happy? Or at least happier. Try it, and actually give it some time to work.
Most of the time, we hold the power to eliminate certain components in life that build up and make us unhappy. And even if we can’t literally do away with those “components” we still have the control of whether or not we allow them to affect us and make us unhappy.
I think that a lot of the people arguing that it isn't a choice have a somewhat distorted view of happiness, linking it to material items that are in the end impermanent. If you look for happiness in the small things that everyone always takes for granted, then you will find. To make the decision to look for the small things and be positive really depends on how you perceive happiness. Perception is deception. But, guess what? You are alive. Isn't that itself enough to be happy about? It is for me.
The formula for happiness is simple. We don't need material wealth, a perfect job, or an exceptional relationship. In fact, it's possible to know happiness with no job, very little money, and no significant other. Happiness is a by-product of a healthy attitude. And a healthy attitude is one that takes the normal turmoil of life and mixes it with a belief in God's presence. The result is an acceptance of God's will and a certainty that, in spite of appearances, all is well.
All the people on the no side made the conscious choice to argue against this notion. Fact.
What prevents you from making the same conscious choice, to realise, that somewhere somebody is way worse off than you are, but happy nevertheless?
What prevents you from simply stopping right there, on that precise spot where you are standing at this very moment, and smiling?
Your own f*cking choice, that's what. Stop making lame-ass excuses about how bad your situation is, or how unhappy you are. Just smile and say:"Damn, am I happy today!"
There is no logical reason, for why you cannot do it. All you have to do, is believe in what you just said, and it will automatically be true.
Happiness is a choice that is also determined by things that happen in our life but we can influence our lives to be happy, our lives may suck at one point in time but we have the memories of happiness at some time. We remember those, and even the smallest things in life can mean something, even if its a hello, its better than nothing and so we always have to see the bright side, even if there isn't much bright side we have to somehow see it and you can if you think positive!!!
If happiness is a choice then this would be the happiest place in the entire universe. Having fun is different from happiness. It's not a vendo machine or ice cream with different flavors that you have options to choose. We are dealing with life and feelings. Just a few cents from my mind.
Do you think suffering with depression is a choice? Well then you really need to experience it because I can assure you it is NOT. We do not choose to be surrounded by sadness. It happens.
“Others imply that they know what it is like to be depressed because they have gone through a divorce, lost a job, or broken up with someone. But these experiences carry with them feelings. Depression, instead, is flat, hollow, and unendurable. It is also tiresome"
Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness
Those who argue that happiness is a choice are still shackled by the classical liberal notion of freedom of will. This is in itself a mistaken. A choice to be happy cannot ensure happiness. If the outcome of our choice does not achieve our objective, happiness, then the choice to be happy becomes more an article of faith. Faith by it's very nature cannot be based on choice. Think about it!
I believe happiness is not a choice everyone is blessed with happiness from the moment they ate brought to this world, for some it is harder to find but it is there!! Of course you can choose to be happy but no it is not a choice you make. It is a gift you both give and receive.
If someone close to you dies or you experience a traumatic event - it's going to stick with you. You can work to shake it off and get over the bump in the road - that parts a choice - but life events aren't a choice and you can't have control over it. You can't chose to have perfect genetics. You can choose to work to balance out bad biological traits though meds and/or therapy. You can choose to change a lot of things but if it were as simple as saying "hey I'm going to be happy" everyone would be happy.
No wonder there are more that say yes then no, I however am happy to say that I have beaten depression, 1 year ago I would not admit it to anyone and any such question I would have ignored. We need to start talking about these things and let people know that there is help and its not your fault.
Happiness from self-actualisation or affection may be an individual choice. Happiness from having adequate food, garment, and living space is not. And only when the demand for food, cloth, and house is satisfied so that one can enjoy family and esteem. Therefore happiness, for most of the part is not a choice one can made.
Having suffered from depression I can tell you happiness is not a choice, not always, not for everyone. There absolutely are biological factors at work that can cause depression and generally make people unhappy. Furthermore, telling a depressed person to just choose to be happy is about as useful as telling a straight person to choose to be gay (or visa versa). Denying the issue is about the worst thing someone can do. Do you really think people are choosing to be depressed? Why would anyone possibly choose that kind of torment? I really really wish it were that easy for everyone to be happy, but it just isn't so.
Sometimes, an otherwise optimistic person is unhappy because they have realized that "being happy" is not related to drive, success, fortitude, or "a good outcome". In my personal experience, being "happy" did nothing but make those around me stand back and marvel at my "great attitude".
I was happy back then because I expected my blood, sweat, and tears to lead to a change in circumstances. However, after 14 yrs and minimal change I'm NOT happy. And I think that's when you truly find out what you're really made of. Now that I'm not under the illusion of happiness I am "forced" to face my reality and to clearly see what may lie ahead.
I will continue to fight for change in my family, my finances, and my future knowing that it may not work out the way I hoped and I'm not going to pretend that idea makes me happy. Bottom line: not everyone's reality can be happy and that's OK!! It's only not ok when we give up trying.
This question is the same as the free will question. Obviously we have no free will, so it follows that happiness is not a choice. If happiness were a choice, everyone would automatically choose to be happy all the time. Happiness is just an extended period of pleasure. Why would anyone choose to be unhappy? It just doesn't make sense.