Increased Happiness Help—Counseling and Therapy in Chesterfield, VA
Think of people in your life who are genuinely happy. How would you describe them? Most likely, these happy people have bad days, but some how, they bounce back. Life can throw them for a loop, and they land on their feet. They receive an unexpected bill? Yes, they are sad or frustrated or upset, but then they recover. Their plans change? Of course, they are agitated, but their happiness never rested solely on their plans. Before long, there is a smile on their face again.
Here come bad news talking this and that
Yeah, give me all you got, don’t hold back
Yeah, well I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine
Yeah, no offense to you don’t waste your time
Here’s why: Because I’m happy…
—Pharrell Williams, “Happy”
How does this resilient joy occur? The Internet has innumerable opinions about increasing happiness: avoid those foods, use these power poses, do not have too many friends, but have enough friends, sleep, and the list could go on and on. People, without question, want to be happier, but can people adjust the happiness they experience? If so, how does that happen?
New research has shown that happiness is a feeling that can be cultivated and grown. The happiness people feel is not set at a specific level, but instead, happiness functions in a similar way to muscles. Each muscle has a base level of strength, but with exercise, muscles can grow stronger. Not everyone can be a body-builder, but everyone can improve. Similarly, people can build up their happiness with the right emotional exercises.
But what are beneficial emotional habits and what is useless clickbait? Just as many people need the help of a trainer to strengthen their muscle, so many people are looking to mental health professionals to increase their happiness.
Anyone can work on their happiness, and Thriveworks Chesterfield can help. We have seen many clients who are ready to focus on a joyful, fulfilling, happy life.
Habits that Impede Happiness
Many people build their happiness upon events and circumstances that they cannot control. Can you relate to any of these circumstances?
- Your team lost the big game so you are frustrated and unhappy the rest of the day.
- Your found out today that favorite TV show has been cancelled so today has been terrible.
- The restaurant ran out of the entrée you wanted to order so the evening out is ruined.
Any number of scenarios could be inserted into these equations: positive outcome=positive emotions. Negative outcome=negative emotions. The problem is that people often do not have control over these outcomes.
Make no mistake, life’s circumstances and other people matter within a person’s emotional life, but also make no mistake, they are not the only factors. While people cannot control many things in their lives, there are just as many emotional habits they can control.
Boosting happiness may first require identifying emotional habits that impede happiness: things within people’s control that they can change. While there are many things that can diminish people’s joy, a few examples include…
- Giving away Control: Happy people know that joy comes from within themselves. Vacations are nice; promotions are great; sports are fun, but happy people do not give these circumstances the ability to set their long-term emotional state.
- Comparison: Basing happiness upon what other people have or do is a sure-fire way to dampen happiness. Instead, happy people usually take their life on its own merits, rejecting the trap of comparing and contrasting.
- Entitlement: When people passively wait for their happiness to grow, they may be hanging out for a long time. Increasing happiness takes proactive growth.
- Blame: Problems grow when people focus on blame instead of solutions. Instead of growing through difficulty, blame often causes people to become stuck. Unaddressed, lingering challenges choke out joy.
Working toward More Happiness
Cutting out negative emotional habits is a great first step toward happiness, but more importantly, people need to replace them with healthy ones. People can learn how to draw their happiness from within themselves. Life will be difficult with many ups and downs, but happiness can remain steady.
Small steps can take people a long way toward happiness. A mental health professional can identify what steps may be most effective for you, but the following are ways many people have found more joy:
- Practicing mindfulness – Being attentive to now is an important practice. Note feelings, thoughts, and sensations. Let them rise without judgment—do not label them as good, bad, hard, easy, et cetera. Simply experience them.
- Promoting thankfulness – When people reflect upon and name what they are grateful for each day, they are focusing their attention upon what is good in their lives. Their brains will be trained to see more and more of life’s beauty, kindness, and virtue.
- Changing one’s mindset – Reflecting upon and reframing circumstances is an important life skills. Is a change of plans ruinous or an opportunity for a new experience? You get to choose.
- Setting a goal – Happiness often requires a past, present and future element: setting an achievable goal in one’s person or professional life keeps one’s attention focused upon and anticipating the future.
Therapy for Increasing Happiness at Thriveworks Chesterfield
Anyone can build up their happiness, but no one has to work out alone. A lot of people are starting therapy to help them increase joy in their lives, and Thriveworks Chesterfield is ready to help. Our therapists have appointments available for increasing happiness help.
When you call our office, you may be meeting with your therapist the following day. We also offer evening and weekend appointments, and we accept many insurance plans.
If you want to prioritize your happiness, know that Thriveworks Chesterfield is ready to help. Call today.