Life can feel overwhelmingly sad at times. Every day, the news delivers the latest tragedy. Every day, people experience normal, ups and downs in their own personal lives. And yet, almost everyone knows people who are truly happy. They live in the same challenging world, but somehow, they hold onto joy in the midst of difficult circumstances. Pharrell describes them in his song, “Happy,”
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…
When life is tough, how do some people land on their feet with a smile? Every blog, magazine, and podcast seems to have an opinion about how: try power poses, avoid certain foods, have enough friends but not too many, and on and on the opinions roll. The advice is usually clickbait, but it highlights an important point: people can increase their happiness.
For many years, mental health professionals believed that people had a fixed happiness range: they may fluctuate within that range but never exceed it. However, more recent studies have shown that happiness is more like a muscle: there is a base-level of strength that can be built upon and strengthened with time and exercise.
If it is possible for people to strengthen their happiness muscles, what exercises work and which are mere clickbait? Many people are turning to mental health professionals to help them know the difference.
The counselors at Thriveworks Peachtree City are seeing more and more clients who want to work toward a joyful, fulfilling, happy life, and our professionals have the expertise to guide each client toward the emotional exercises that can increase happiness.
Emotional Routines that Harm Happiness
Many people base their happiness upon factors that they cannot control. Did they get a bonus from their work? If yes, then they feel happy. If no, then they feel sad. Did their team clinch a spot in the playoffs? If yes, then they feel happy. If no, then they feel sad. Is the weather cooperating with their weekend plans? If yes, then they feel happy. If no, then they feel sad.
Any number of scenarios could be inserted into this equation: positive outcome=positive feelings, negative outcome=negative feelings. Unfortunately, most people have no control over the outcomes they look to for their happiness. Therefore, whether they feel happy or sad feels out of their control.
Without any doubt, people and circumstances play a role in happiness; however, they are supporting actors. The main character is always oneself, and the emotions, thoughts, and actions people control from within themselves.
While much of life is outside of people’s control, much is also within their control. Personal happiness may begin by finding personal routines that harm happiness. A few examples include:
- Entitlement: Happiness often is the result of an active stance toward life. Waiting for unearned happiness to appear out of no where means people may be spending more days in frustration than joy.
- Comparison: Looking to the side to see what others have or what they are doing is recipe for resentment or superiority, not joy. Happiness often comes from taking life on its own merits.
- Blame: Excuses abound for why people are not happy, but blaming others or circumstances is a disempowering exercising. Instead, happy people draw on what power they have to create their own happiness—no excuses.
Emotional Routines that Stimulate Happiness
When it comes to happiness, small adjustments in people’s routines can add up to big differences in the happiness they experience. Mental health counselors often help people identify which adjustments are right for them, but a few examples of routines that stimulate happiness include:
- Prioritizing thankfulness – Taking the time to list or name a few things each day to be grateful for can train people’s minds to see what is right, good, and beautiful in their lives.
- Practicing mindfulness – Cultivating awareness of one’s feelings, thoughts, and sensations can allow people to be more in the moment, a key to happiness.
- Striving toward a goal – When people set reasonable and achievable goals in their personal and professional life, they create a future that is exciting and rewarding.
- Changing one’s mindset – Make room for growth. It is possible to learn new habits, feelings, skills, and knowledge. It is also possible to reframe experiences, seeing them from different, more positive angles.
Just as there are no short-cuts to building up muscles in the gym, there are no short-cuts toward building up happiness. Also, just as many people turn to a physical trainer to help them strength train, so are many people turning toward mental health professionals for help as they work toward more resilient, stronger happiness.
Setting Up an Appointment for Increase Happiness Help at Thriveworks Peachtree City
Life can be a rollercoaster, but one’s personal happiness can remain relatively steady. With time, effort, and the right mental habits, anyone can increase their happiness.
If you are ready to live a happier life, know that Thriveworks Peachtree City offers therapy for increased happiness help. When you reach out to our office, you may have your first appointment within 24 hours. Many new clients see their therapist the day after their first call to us. We also accept many forms of insurance and offer weekend and evening appointments.
Let’s work together for a happier, more joy filled life. Call Thriveworks Peachtree City today.