Mental Health: Can You Choose to be Happy

Mental Health: Can You Choose to be Happy

If you’ve been here for awhile then you know that I’ve spoken a bit about my struggle with depression and anxiety. They are topics that I think people shy away from far too often because there is an unfair stigma around mental health. I am standing up to that stigma and from time to time will share with you my struggles with mental health and advice on how I overcome and combat my issues. So let’s start with today’s topic.

Can You Choose to be Happy?

People say that it’s not what happens in a situation that affects your mood but how you choose to react to the situation. My question for you is, can it really be that simple? Can I really just banish away all my aches and pains? No. But I can choose how I will react in those hard times. I can choose to give myself a break and to be the catalyst in helping to dig myself out of the dark corners of my depression.

I’ve compiled a list of ways that you can choose to be happier and have a better day:

Be your own Advocate

Be the positive reinforcement in your life. Don’t wait for others to bring you happiness and joy, find it within yourself. Choose to remind yourself how wonderful and unique you are and don’t allow the outside world to take your happiness away from you. Remeber that you are worthy and that no aspiration is too far out of your reach as long as you give it your all.

Be Optimistic

Those who suffer from depression and anxiety are usually pessimists. Pessimists are people who tend to see the worst aspects of a situation and they believe that the worst scenario will happen.  If you’re a pessimist it’s common for you to replay something that hasn’t even happened yet in your mind over and over while imagining the worst outcome possible. It has a way of ruining your whole mood and day. So instead of automatically jumping to a negative thought and allowing bad thoughts to circle around in your head, you should aim to be optimistic. Try looking on the bright side of your situation and before going negative you should instead think of the best scenario that could happen and strive for that.

Smile and Laugh

When those dark thoughts start to creep up on you choose to smile and laugh and banish away all those bad thoughts. Think back to a time when you were happy or when someone said something so funny that it brought you to tears. Grab onto that memory and let it brighten your mood. Allow the happiness in and smile and laugh. Keep going until you feel your muscles relax and the tension starts to leave your body. Remember that sometimes laughter really can be the best kind of medicine.

Practice Mindfulness

Center yourself and ask yourself what the real issue is. Don’t over complicate things. To achieve a happier state and become more mindful you must practice mindful meditation. Go to a calm area, sit down and spend a few minutes centering yourself while clearing your head and releasing your negative thoughts. A great app for learning and practicing mindfulness is Headspace. My husband and I both use it and while I will admit it can be a bit daunting and frustrating at first; it will be worth it in the end.

Surround Yourself with Support

As I mentioned before you cannot rely on others to make you happy, however, you can surround yourself with the right type of people. You should surround yourself with people who understand you and are kind to you. Banish the people who you feel judge you and who tell you how you should be feeling, these people are only going to drain you. You are never going to be able to please them and you shouldn’t waste your time trying.


I know that Even if you practice all these techniques there is still a chance that you will still be anxious or depressed and I’m not saying that all of this will magically make you better. But I am saying that practicing all of these techniques are a step in the right direction.



Kathleen Brown

Thank you for your honesty and writing something that can truly help others. We need to remove the sigma of mental illness. Bless you

Abi Tomberlin

I think you nailed it when you said “Can I really just banish away all my aches and pains? No. But I can choose how I will react in those hard times. I can choose to give myself a break and to be the catalyst in helping to dig myself out of the dark corners of my depression…” Girl. Truth. And something my father is ALWAYS reminding me of – to take every thought captive. Weed out the thoughts that don’t hold truth.

Caitlin A

Thank you so much for opening up about this! These are definitely good techniques to use, and so good to remember.

Elizabeth Mayberry

I love this. I think these tips are so helpful and honestly things I need to practice more often. Thanks for sharing your heart and your experiences!


Smiling and laughing is such a good reminder!

xx Kelly
Sparkles and Shoes

Gina Alyse

Such an important topic and question to ask. I think happiness is about your perspective, like you said. I’ve struggled with mental health and it’s such a deep subject that no doubt affects our happiness and quality of life. I have found that optimism and confidence have greatly improved how I view myself and those around me!


Such an important post. It’s important to remember that mental illness is not a choice, but that we can optimize our mental health with certain daily practices. Thank you for sharing your beautiful, thoughtful words.

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