Counseling to Increase Happiness—Therapists in Grand Rapids, MI
Think about someone in your life who is happy. Think about their lives. What are they like? What is their life like? Like most people, they probably have bad days. They may feel disappointed, frustrated, angry, or sad at times, but overall, happiness characterizes their life. Happy people usually do not have easier lives, and yet, they can maintain their smile through the chaos. They can sing with Pharrell,
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…
How do happy people keep a smile on their faces? Advice is everywhere online about how to grasp and maintain this kind of resilient happiness: Have enough friends—but not too many. Do Pilates or yoga or both. Stand in a power pose each morning. Eat these foods; avoid those foods. The advice seems endless. For the average person, however, distinguishing between clickbait and sound mental health advice is difficult.
The encouraging news is that everybody can learn how to be happier. New research has shown that the emotion of joy is quite similar to a muscle. While every person has a unique level of physical strength, every person can also grow stronger through exercise. Similarly, every person experiences a unique level of happiness, but with time and certain mental health exercises, people can be happier.
Just as a lot of people seek out a trainer’s help to grow physically stronger, so a lot of people are also seeking out a mental health professional’s help to grow emotionally stronger. Skilled therapists can cut through useless clickbait and point clients to research-based, well-proven psychological techniques that cultivate happiness.
The therapists at Thriveworks Grand Rapids have helped many people live happier lives. If you are ready to prioritize your happiness, we are ready to help.
Happiness that remains steady when life is a rollercoaster is never rooted in the circumstances of life. Consider, for example, these scenarios.
- Last weekend, your team lost the big game in overtime, and you have had a hard time getting out of bed since.
- The restaurant is out of the entrée you had been looking forward to ordering. Now, the whole evening out is ruined.
Can you relate?
More likely than not, you can. A lot of people look to circumstances outside of their control to determine how much happiness they experience. The variables may change, but the formula remains the same: adverse outcome=negative emotions, favorable outcome=positive emotions. Unfortunately, people usually have little to no control over these outcomes, so happiness feels like an out-of-control, random emotion.
Happy people maintain their joy through the ups and downs of life because they have learned to draw happiness from within themselves and from sources that are steady. They have abandoned emotional habits that sabotage their happiness, and they have cultivated emotional habits where happiness can grow.
Certain habits undermine people’s joy. Switching up these habits may stimulate fulfillment and satisfaction.
- Comparison: Eyeing someone else’s situation, possessions, and/or actions inevitably results in feelings of superiority or inferiority, not joy.
- Blame: Accusations and criticism means that energy is wasted on finger pointing instead of problem solving. Unresolved issues often grow and smother happiness.
- Entitlement: As Thomas Jefferson wrote in The Declaration of Independence, happiness is to be pursued. Waiting on unearned joy to arrive means people are wasting their time.
Just as people have control over cutting out emotional habits that sabotage their happiness, they can also learn emotional habits that strengthen their happiness. This task may seem impossible, but a lot of people have learned the secret: little steps go a long way.
Therapists can often help people pinpoint which emotional exercises will help them the most. Usually, strengthening happiness involves a future, present, and past element:
- Setting a goal – Working toward a target can bring focus to people’s daily lives. Setting personal and professional goals that are achievable also means people experience regular rewards.
- Practicing mindfulness – Cultivate self-awareness without analyzing or judging. Let any feelings, thoughts, and sensations arise. Be present and observe.
- Promoting thankfulness – When people take time to talk about or write down things for which they are grateful, they are teaching themselves to look for good things in life. Soon, they may start to see opportunity, beauty, and kindness they had previously missed.
Increasing Happiness Help—Therapy at Thriveworks Grand Rapids
If only there were a magic formula or potion to increase happiness, but there is no such thing. Often, the happiest people are those who are proactive and willing to work on their emotional health. It is possible to be a happier person, and Thriveworks Grand Rapids has appointments available for increasing happiness help.
Are you ready to meet with a mental health professional about living a more joyful life? Our professionals are ready to meet with you. We accept most forms of insurance. Evening and weekend appointments are available, but we do not keep a waitlist. Instead, many new clients meet with their counselor within 24 hours of their call to us.
Your happiness is important. Let’s work together toward a more fulfilling life. Contact Thriveworks Grand Rapids today.