Yvette E. McDonald, LCSW-QS
You Can Create Your Happiness
The quest for happiness seems to be never-ending. We are always telling ourselves “if x happens then I will be happy,” “if y could just occur everything would be great,” etc. We are always placing our happiness in the hands of circumstances or other people. Especially in our current pandemic some hold onto "when life gets back to normal I'll be happy". But the truth is, real long-lasting, true happiness is something you can create. Yes, meeting a goal or getting the job might make us happy for a little while but that kind of happiness fades with time.
Real happiness is about perspective, lifestyle, a way of thinking, and you, my friend, hold the power.
Now that I have your attention, the question becomes how?
How do you create your own happiness?
Slow down. We are always running from one thing to another. We are missing all the beauty in the little things. Happy people slow down to appreciate moments in life. They take a few breaths and soak up the way their child laughs or talks, the smile on a significant other's face, the laughter of a friend, the beauty of a clean home, a full fridge, or a beautiful sunrise.
Happy people feel good about themselves. They have self-respect and treat their bodies and minds well. They are active. They move. It can be easy to get stuck sitting all day and forget how good it feels to get your heart rate up. Exercise leads to the release of the neurotransmitter GABA which helps to soothe the brain. It also leads to the release of feel-good hormones. It is a natural mood booster.
Happy people also recognize the importance of sleep. Sleep is so important for your mood. If you feel rundown and exhausted everything is harder, it all takes more effort and you just don’t feel well. Get sleep and you will feel better and be healthier.
Happy people are selective. They recognize that there are toxic people in the world and they choose to separate themselves from those negative forces. They surround themselves in good company. Surrounding yourself with positive people can cause your mood and worldview to follow.
Happy people are givers. While we all enjoy a splurge now and then on ourselves, happy people feel good helping (and spending money) on others. Whether it be through purchasing clothes or food for a family in need or surprising a loved one with something they have longed for, spending money on others makes us feel good.
Happy people recognize that life shouldn’t be stagnant. You can always change and grow as a person. Even if you sometimes feel stuck, you don’t have to stay there. If you have the mindset that you are a fluid human being, you can grow and change with time, then you believe change is possible. It is a much more positive outlook.
Happy people put in the effort. They work towards being happy. Happiness is not something that just falls into your lap. You have to wake up and want it. A supremely happy person is checking in with themselves often. They make decisions based on their happiness levels. For example, they are exhausted from working hard at the office so they decide to take the night off and go to bed early. Or, they need a mood boost so they decide to hit the home gym, or stop and watch the sunset.
Happiness is possible for everyone, no matter their life circumstances. It just takes some healthy habits and a healthy mindset. A licensed counselor can help you get there if you need some assistance. If you find yourself needing help managing your happiness during these uncertain and fragile times, Traveling Light Counseling is here to help. Even if you’re not a regular client/patient of ours or you simply like to have an appointment just to check up on your mental health during COVID-19, we’re here to help. Just reach out and set up an appointment. You are not alone!
The therapists at Traveling Light Counseling specialize in helping clients achieve personal happiness. We welcome the chance to discuss an individualized plan to meet your needs. Contact us at 772-361-8448 to learn more.