How Can I Find Happiness?

Young man is looking very happy

Photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash

What is happiness?

The biggest question that our clients ask our counsellors here at our practice is “How can I find happiness?”. We all want happiness, but what is it really? Its really simple actually. Happiness is just a general sense of well-being. It’s a sense of feeling content in your life. It’s that sense of joy every single day. Its feeling joy to others, to yourself and to the world. Now, who doesn’t want that?

How do I find happiness?

Let’s start small. Let’s look at a few events that most of us will typically encounter and the way we can change our thoughts around those to find the happiness there and the way that we can build upon this.

The first thing to understand is that an event is not necessarily linked directly with an emotion. What I mean here, is that when an event occurs in your life, it doesn’t immediately make you feel a particular way. Initially, this may seem a strange concept to try to grasp. Imagine you get a promotion at work. You don’t immediately feel happy. When you have a car accident, you don’t straight away feel frustrated or angry. When you have a relationship breakdown, you don’t immediately feed sadness.

What actually happens is that something happens in the middle and this is where you have the control. This is where your thoughts are. Remember an event occurring doesn’t immediately result in a feeling or an emotion. What happens is:

An event occurs

We have thoughts surrounding it

Then we feel in a particular way

What is so great about this is that you, and only you, are in control of your happiness. You are the only person who can affect your happiness. It means that if you’re not happy right now, it’s up to you to fix it.

Here’s an example

Let’s go through an example of this to see how it works. Imagine you’ve gone for an interview and you haven’t got the job. It hasn’t gone well. So immediately you might be thinking of course your feeling sadness. But what has happened here?

You’ve gone for the interview (the event)

Then in the middle you’ve thought:

“I’m not good enough.”,

“I’m a failure”

“I knew I wouldn’t get that job” or something along those lines.

And then that’s what’s created this feeling of sadness.

Change the negative thoughts

What can we do in the future to change that? Basically, we need to change the way that we respond to things and take back the control. So, when we go for the interview (the event) we need to change the way we are thinking. Instead of saying “I’m a failure” or “I’m no good” we say “This wasn’t the right job for me. The next time will be better”.

Can you immediately see how that would make you feel? Rather than “I’m not good enough”, the emotion completely changes. We are actually challenging the thought and switching it around. We’ve gone for the interview and then we haven’t got it and we say “I’m disappointed I didn’t get it, but there will be another next time”. Immediately we still feel some sadness but we also have some joy and excitement for the next interview.

To say in our lives that we would never have any struggles or difficulties would be unrealistic. To believe that once you find happiness in your life that everything’s going to be perfect, is definitely not how life is. However, once our counsellors have taught you how to change these negative feelings and negative thoughts, you are going to be able to find this happiness so much more easily. Once you learn how to do this, then when you have struggles and difficulties in your life they just aren’t as big because you are in control of them.

What should I do now?

Start thinking about how you can apply this to your own life and the great things that you can do with this knowledge. Remember that life isn’t always easy but with these tips and strategies it’s going to become so much easier for you to manage because you’re going to be in in control of your life. And you’re going to be making your own happiness.

What does this mean for you and how do you apply it? For now, write down each and every time there is an event that happens in your life, whether its simply looking in the mirror or going to work or disagreeing with a family member, write down how you feel about it. But then, more importantly. write down what you were thinking and then challenge that thought into a positive one. Challenge that negativity and change it and then write down the emotion for how you are then feeling.

Challenging these thoughts is where we find our happiness. We manage to take on these struggles. We manage to take on adversity and we overcome it. We find happiness within ourselves. Remember that you are in control of your happiness and your emotions because of your own thoughts. You are in control of you and your own environment because you can choose the way that you are going to respond and the way that you are going to feel.

Let us Help You to Find Happiness

We want you to choose happiness. HelpGuide have produced some online tips if you would like to read more about cultivating happiness.  Alternatively, if you would like to meet one of our expert counsellors, to discuss your particular situation, please get in touch. We look forward to meeting you and helping you to choose happiness.

Watch Elissa talk about finding happiness.