How happiness is like exercise

Did you know...? Thinking too much, anxiety, worry, anger, fear, stress, actually negativity in general… all of these things are just habits.

They are something we’ve learned to do in response to things that we don’t like. The more you react in a certain way, the stronger that “way” gets and so the easier it is to respond like that.

It becomes a habit, a reaction.

It’s a bit of a bottomless cycle, a slippery slope.

But the good news is that it is just a habit. You can create another habit.

The even better news is that you don’t need to work out or overly analyse why you get stressed, or anxious, or not respond to life in the way that you want.

A habit is simply a strong pathway in the brain.

Want a new habit? Make another pathway. Do something else that takes you in another direction.

A little known key to life is what you put your attention on, grows.

The more you do it, the more the new habit becomes stronger and more “slippery” for your attention, the old one less so. You become incapable of behaving like you used to, simply because all your attention is on the new way of being.

Happiness is way more attractive to the mind. If you give it a chance it will become your default.


Good news indeed. I believe it was Aristotle who said:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”


In this way, happiness is a lot like going to the gym  - that’s why I say the source of happiness and all good things in life as occurring when you are mentally fit, and flexible, and fluid.

You don’t need to believe a push up or Zumba class will make you stronger and healthier, you just need to do it - with good form and regularly - and the results are obvious.

Regular practice is everything then.

A fitness regime is essential. If you want a better life, some sort of regular “choice” practice - as in choosing your attitude and choosing to be present - is necessary.

You need to give it enough time to create a new habit, for it to become stronger, and the predominant way of living and being in the world.

But the more you do it, the more your life changes and so the more you keep wanting to do it.

It becomes self-propelling and motivating.

But you need to start. And you need the commitment to follow through.

Grab a buddy and make a pact, set aside a time each day. Just close your eyes. Remind yourself to see everything as being half-full. Be as present in this moment as much as you can.

If you need any assistance in this, let me know. I know some good ways.

Take care, and have a wonderful weekend! In fact, make it a habit.

- Arjuna