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Emotions are a choice

Once dismiss the view you take, and you are out of danger. Who, then, is hindering such a dismissal?  

– Marcus Aurelius, from Meditations 12:25

What if instead of saying ‘I’m happy’ or ‘I feel like shit’, before the emotion, you put: ‘I choose’? So for example, instead of those you’d say ‘I choose to be happy’ or ‘I choose to feel like shit’.

Saying it about a positive emotion is empowering because you’ve consciously made the decision how to live your life. Conversely, when you feel bad, saying ‘I choose to feel like shit’ can actually snap you out of it, because you realise you’re choosing misery over happiness, which is kind of like this:


(Unless that’s what you want).


This is the entry for DEPRESSION in the Onion Book of Known Knowledge Encylopeadia:

Depression, feeling experienced when one remembers that one is depressed.

Never in history has an occurrence or event physically gone into someone’s brain and FORCED them to feel some way. Never, not once ever. It’s our opinion of something that does that. So in other words, it’s our choice.

Ive had times when life sucked in the past. But did it really? Or did I choose for it to suck? I used to live in Italy and I hated it and struggled to live a content life there. But did I actually struggle? Or did I choose to struggle?

So if you’re ever a bit down, or lonely or sad, are you actually? Or are you choosing to be?