Happiness is something that a lot of us take for granted. We go through the day to day tasks that we need to get done, and push what we really want to do to the side. This, unfortunately, leads to stress, anxiety, and sometimes, feeling of sadness, anger, or even longer term depression. While we are all focusing on New Years goals (and I’ve created some great ones!), I think that one thing that we all need to work on – this year and beyond – is focusing on happiness. Here are 5 ways to increase your happiness each day:
Find joy in the little things
For most (if not all) people, life is made up of an accumulation of small, precious moments. Well, sometimes not so precious, too! There are, of course, huge moments that can make a dramatic shift and change in life, but for the most part, everyday life still goes on and the moments that pass seem pretty inconsequential. But remember: it is in the little things that you find the most joy and happiness. Sometimes it is hard, but when you remind yourself of this, and allow yourself to be joyful, it’s easier to actually find that joy. While that may sound too good to be true, it definitely works. Think about the way a hot shower feels after a hard day. Savor the smell and taste of a favorite meal, and enjoy the presence of your family. These are just a few examples of small moments that you might typically take for granted, but when you think about it, they are great contributors to happiness and joy.
Connect with others
The power of social connection is well researched and shown to boost happiness. We’ve all struggled with this over the past couple of years (unfortunately), but being intentional when it comes to spending more time with friends and family that bring out the best in you, is super important.
Focus on what makes you happy
Instead of focusing on sadness, try focusing on the things that make you happy. I know that it can be challenging to let go of the things that you cannot control, but there’s no point in tormenting yourself with thoughts of how disappointed you are because you didn’t succeed in a task or goal at work, or if you can’t see a clear path to your future. Stewing in sadness, anger, or disappointment with further knock down your path to feeling happy and feeling worthy. Let go of toxic feelings and focus more on what makes you happy in everyday life. Seek professional counseling if the problem worsens or doesn’t go away after two weeks. Remember, you deserve to be happy. To get there, ditch negative emotions and replace them with more uplifting ones. If you need help finding a counselor, a good place to start might be with Ray of Hope Counseling Services, if you need a therapist Peachtree City.
Ray of Hope Counseling Services provide individual and group therapy, family therapy, as well as couples counseling. In addition to the license and education that each therapist holds, each therapist at Ray of Hope Counseling Services also has additional training and/or hold certifications in their specialty area, which is very important when it comes to helping their clients with life changes and challenges. Clinical Director and Founder, Lynn Thompson Umstead, is a trained mental health professional with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Psychology. In addition, Lynn also holds many certifications and/or licenses such as, a National Certified Counselor, Imago Relationship Therapist, an Anger Management Specialist, and she is registered by the state of Georgia as a civil and divorce mediator. Counseling is a GREAT place to start if you are struggling to become or stay happy with your life.
Live in the moment
Worrying about the past or having anxiety over the future are both counterproductive and a waste of time. Instead, to add to your happiness, change your mindset so that you live in the present. Another way of saying this is to be present. When you focus on the now, this moment, you are more aware of your surroundings, your breath, how you feel, what’s going on with your loved ones, family, friends, co-workers, other drivers and everything in your immediate environment. You’re alive and fully aware of it. Being present is a proactive way to increase your happiness and something anyone can do.
Be good to yourself
Last but not least, treat yourself well. Break up with those bad habits that are mentally or physically stressful and instead, embark on a lifestyle that includes healthier behaviors like nutritious eating, cutting down on alcohol, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, etc. Another thing to remember is that you are your biggest critic. You are doing great and it is very important to continue reminding yourself that. At the end of the day, be good to yourself, no matter what that means to you specifically.