The top reason my clients begin therapy is to seek relief from high levels of stress and anxiety. When people are asked what they want to get out of therapy, most respond with just wanting to reduce their symptoms or not feel so overwhelmed and exhausted. While that is a great initial goal, I also want to focus on the importance of actively cultivating a balanced life. One that involves not just financial success or social capital, but also practicing contentment and acceptance of what is happening in the present. This means to take the time to really notice and acknowledge when things are going well and taking the time to celebrate these moments.
Happiness is a ubiquitous term that is often thrown around with the assumption that we all want it. However, one person’s perspective of happiness can differ greatly from another. Thus, it is important to really get specific about what exactly it is that makes you happy. The more detailed you get, the easier it is to make this a tangible goal. Happiness can be large goals like finding a loving partner or be as simple as seeing a happy dog and its owner play.
The more you practice seeing happiness in different forms, the more you’ll be able to see how happiness is often attached to feelings of love, contentment and lightness. This practice in itself is so simple, yet so difficult to achieve when we are busy with our daily tasks and chores. It does require some intention to highlight the good things that happen throughout your day. You can make a nightly ritual to remind yourself of three things that happened that brought a smile to your face. This activity take about 3-5 minutes, and with consistent practice, can bring you much closer to that feeling of happiness that everyone is searching for.
Suggested Reading: Four Well-being Workouts