Happiness is a complex topic but one well worth delving into. Who doesn’t want to be happier? Happiness is the driving force in many people’s lives. But what is happiness? Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines happiness as “a state of well-being and contentment”. So if that is what it is, then why aren’t more people happy?

What is the source of one’s happiness? It is a lifelong question that doesn’t just have one answer, but we can get some clues into how to be just a little happier now. Many people have philosophies, but no one really knows for sure what the true source of happiness is. We can just speculate and in fact, some speculations can be helpful. If the speculations have a positive impact in your life then it can be useful. As human beings all we really have are our perceptions and speculations about how life “truly” is. In this book, we will start to look at some of the ways that you can improve the outlook in your life, and possibly improve your state of well-being as well.

Happiness Comes from Within

Happiness is a concept that is generated from within. If you are deriving happiness exclusively from external things i.e. Money, possessions, others wanting you, etc., you are going to be in trouble. What if the money or possession isn’t there? Are you not going to be happy then? And if so, for how long…forever. So you see the trouble with this logic. If the external source is not available you can’t be happy in this train of thought. This really is how it can be for some people. So we want to look to generate our happiness from within. But how do we do this?

There is no cure all but there are many things you can do to be happier more often. It all starts with your view or perception of the world. If you interpret things in a more positive manner, you tend to be a little happier. Now this is not an overnight process but a process nonetheless. It takes awareness to know when you are being negative or pessimistic. If you are not aware that you perceive the world in this manner, you may really believe that the world is a negative place and negative things will happen to you. The world may appear to be a miserable place.

For example, if you have a lottery ticket and you lose, a person with a negative view of life may look at it like “this always happens to me” or “I have bad luck”. This may even make this person upset and frustrated for a while after the incident. But when you can notice these thoughts, you can stop your thought and have another thought to replace it. In psychology this technique is called the thought stopping technique. So if that person looked at it with a positive view like maybe, “Oh well I will get ‘em next time” they could keep moving on with their lives without a hiccup after the incident.

So the first thing I will say about being happy is that it starts with your view of the world. What would you say yours is? Once you start to notice how you perceive the world, you will have the power to change it. If you can’t see it, then you are a like a puppet and that view of life is running the show behind the scenes. Once you are able to be to see it, you have the power to do something about it. If you were someone that says that you have a positive view of life, but are unhappy most of the time, then I would assert that you might have a blind spot. There is nothing wrong with that. As human beings, sometimes our true view of life will be so hidden from of view we really don’t think it is that way. But you can always tell the view of life you have by looking at your results. It could be looking at how often you are happy or how you view certain situations. My main advice is to be really authentic with yourself. Brutally authentic, if need be. That is the only way you will break free from the chains of negativity.

Another way to start to shift to happiness is through affirmations. Affirmations for those of you that don’t know are similar to a positive mantra. For example, I am healthy, happy and peaceful. This is a good affirmation to say by the way. Each person should have a list of their own affirmations, or how they want to create their life and experience of life. We are the authors of our lives and we create the view we have of it. So why not create one that is based on being happy?

And one last way is through a faith. It may be a formal religion or your own personal beliefs, but either way it has a strong correlation to being happy and ok with yourself. When you have a strong faith, you tend to be more accepting of yourself and others. This is a core principle of happiness. Accepting things the way they are AND the way they are Not. The second part is key because there may be things in life that we don’t like but we also may not be able to change them. So are we going to be upset about them? If we are then it will ruin that person’s disposition for a while. If the person accepts that which they can’t change, they will have more power and freedom and ultimately be happier.


Life Circles

At our practice, we are dedicated to fostering positive change and promoting mental well-being for individuals of all ages, including kids, teens, and adults, through our holistic approach rooted in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).