Look around for the people in your life who are authentically happy. Think about their lives for a moment. Like everyone else, they probably have good days and bad days. Life is usually just as challenging for them as it is for anyone else. Yet, they ride the rollercoaster of life’s ups and downs with a smile on their face instead of a grimace. They may have a difficult day here or there, but somehow, they bounce back, just as happy as they always were. They are the type of people who sing with Pharrell at the top of their lungs…
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…
Everyone with a podcast or blog seems to have an opinion about how to be happier: Have enough friends, but not too many. Stand in these power poses. Get enough sleep. Try yoga or Pilates or both. Avoid these foods. Try those foods. The advice seems endless. Without question, people want to be happier, but is that even possible?
Mental health professionals know that it is not easy, but it is possible for people to increase the joy they feel. The feeling of happiness is very similar to a muscle. Different people have different levels of muscle strength; however, with training and time, anyone can grow stronger. Not everyone can or will become a professional body builder, but everyone can improve. Similarly, people experience different base levels of happiness, and they can increase the amount of happiness they experience with certain emotional exercises and with time.
If it is indeed possible for people to learn how to be happier, how can people distinguish between clickbait and emotional exercises that truly lead to more joy? A lot of people at the gym look to trainers to guide their path toward stronger muscles. A lot of people are also looking to mental health professionals to guide their path toward a happier life.
The licensed therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in Littleton, CO offer increasing happiness therapy because we know that a more joyful life is within grasp. With the right training, support, and guidance, anyone can prioritize their own happiness.
How Does Happiness Form?
Do either of these scenarios sound familiar to you?
- Your team won the championship, and you have not come down from cloud nine for weeks.
- The weather is not cooperating with your weekend plans so now the whole weekend is ruined.
If you are like most people, you have intertwined your happiness with events and/or people who are out of your immediate control.
Any number of situations could be substituted for the listed scenarios, but inevitably, the equation is the same: Beneficial outcome=happiness, adverse outcome=negative emotions. Often, the outcomes people base their emotional responses upon are mostly, if not completely out of their control. Thus, happiness also feels like a random, out-of-control feeling.
Without question, people and circumstances affect happiness. Without question, however, they are not the only components. There are many other factors that affect people’s happiness and that are within their control. There are habits people have that sabotage their joy. There are habits people can cultivate that promote happiness. Mental health professionals at Thriveworks in Littleton, CO can use evidence-based therapeutic methods like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help people change their thinking and foster a happier frame of mind.
All too often, people sabotage their own happiness. There are common habits that people have that can undercut the joy they experience, such as:
- Comparison: Looking to what others have or do instead of taking life on its own merits is a recipe for superiority and/or inferiority—not happiness.
- Entitlement: As the Declaration of Independence reminds us, happiness is to be pursued. When people passively wait for joy to show up, they will likely be waiting a long time.
- Blame: Accusations and finger pointing do not solve problems, and unresolved issues often grow and overshadow joy.
Building Up Joy
Cutting out comparison, entitlement, and blame is a great foundation for building a happier life, but people need to upgrade from these destructive emotional patterns to constructive ones. This usually involves learning to live from within oneself—letting one’s own values, beliefs, talents, and priorities guide one’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. Therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in Littleton, CO can assist in this process of personal growth.
Often, little steps and small changes add up to a big difference in the happiness people feel. As people are learning to ground their emotional state from within themselves, they may find the following practices helpful:
- Promoting thankfulness – Every day, take time to reflect upon what went well. Identify a few things you are grateful for. Taking time for gratitude trains people’s minds and emotions to look for what is good within their lives.
- Practicing mindfulness – Cultivate self-awareness by allowing yourself to be in each moment. Experience each thought, feeling, or sensation without labeling them or judging them.
- Setting a goal – Find a challenging but realistic goal to set in your personal or professional life, and then go for it.
Building up happiness often includes a past, present, and future aspect: Thankfulness looks back in gratitude. Mindfulness looks around with awareness. Goal setting looks toward the future with anticipation. These elements are within each person’s power to implement, and they are often the context in which happiness grows.
Increased Happiness Therapy at Thriveworks in Littleton, CO
Increasing happiness takes intentional effort and time—there is no magic potion that automatically increases joy. Yet, people can build up the happiness they experience. If you are interested in learning more about how to be a happier person, the therapists at Thriveworks in Littleton, CO are ready to help.
When you call to schedule an appointment, you may be meeting with your therapist as early as the following day. We also accept many forms of insurance, and weekend and evening sessions are available, both online and in-person.
We hope every client receives the mental health care they need, when they need it. Contact Thriveworks in Littleton, CO today to get started.