01 Apr

Happiness: Everyone wants it but how do we know when we have it?

Happiness is likely the number one goal we hear about from our counselling clients.  They want it and have no idea on how they can get it.  Another thing that isn’t always so easy to answer is, How will you know when you have it?

Finding happiness

Happiness is sometimes seen as being a bit elusive.  For some it may feel a bit like a mythical unicorn.  People who have a more positive outlook on life will tell you that they can find happiness even when things are difficult. If our mind is in a negativity rut it can be very challenging to see the good, even when it hits us on the head.

Happiness can be found everywhere, it is in our daily lives and is within us.  From the movie Finding Happiness there are a seven tips on how to be happy.

Choose Joy

Recently a client told me that they were joyful that they got to spend time with a friend who was terminally ill.  They said the time they spent before she died was very special.  They were able to hold joy and feel gratitude despite their grief. Happiness can coexist with other feelings like sorrow.

Choosing joy means planning for happiness, for many it means having faith.  On the site Becoming a Minimalist they share 12 Intentional Actions To Choose Happiness Today. Two that stand out are treating others well and search for benefit in your pain. It is a simple thing but treating others well does not cost a thing.  Perhaps it costs us a bit of patience or a smile but the price is small to bring a bit of kindness into someone’s day.

Looking for the benefits in your pain can be tricky.  You wonder why something happened and may have a “why me” moment but maybe the simpler question is “what is it teaching me?”.  We are surrounded in the teachings of life.

Are we there yet?

There are some subtle signs that you might be experiencing happiness.  You may have a greater sense of wellbeing, you may feel less tension in your body or maybe you catch yourself laughing.  Happiness is not a destination, it can be found in a moment or a day but it is there.  It happens when we hear about a friend’s good fortune or when we share a smile with a stranger on the street.  It might be found at the end of a particularly challenging day or when we dragged ourself out to see a friend for coffee when we were thinking of cancelling.

You’ve Got it, now hold on to it

While we know it can be hard to find, it can stay with us if we choose to hold it near.  A Huffington Post article suggests that we can appreciate the little things and not sweat the small stuff.  The next time you see the sun  on a wintery day or you notice that it’s warm enough to open the sun roof just let yourself be happy.  Enjoy it and let it bring a smile to your face.  It’s yours if only for a single moment.  As the song goes Don’t Worry Be Happy.

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