Fumbling for Happiness – The Personal Side
I have never been a “Pollyanna” type of person. While I am positive and find joy in everyday life, I am also a realist. I think about the positive and negatives of situations and I deeply empathize with others’ suffering—hence the career as a psychotherapist.
A couple of weeks ago I was listening to someone speak about this very topic. He was talking about optimism and pessimism and how to experience more joy in life. The theme of the address was two simple words—follow beauty. For me, this translated into “follow happiness.”
Beauty, goodness and happiness are all around us. Always. Just as ugliness, evil and sadness surround us, too. So, it is our choice to follow beauty, to seek out happiness and focus on the good that shines on us. Happiness is always nearby and if you seek it, you will find it. The path to contentment may be long and winding, but if you stick with it—and enlist some support from a therapist and some trusted friends—you will arrive at your destination.
So what does following beauty and happiness look like in everyday life? First, it means trying to find the meaning, joy and hope in good and bad situations alike. This can be very difficult during hard times, but most of the time there is something good—however small—even in the direst of circumstances.
Second, finding happiness means being thoughtful about creating it. This involves some planning. An influential family member always said that people need things to look forward to throughout their lives—short-term and long-term goals and experiences. For me, this means constantly planning things to do that will make me happy. It can be something as simple as having coffee on my back patio on a Sunday morning or something as extravagant as taking a trip to Italy. The point is, I am always thinking about things that will bring me happiness over the days, weeks and years to come. I dream…and then I plan ways to make my dreams reality.
And finally, good mental health is essential to creating happiness. If you are struggling with depression or another mental health issue you most likely cannot plan for happiness because you are just trying to get through the next few hours or days of your life. If you are struggling mentally and emotionally you need the support and expertise of a licensed mental health counselor to help you in your time of crisis. Once you become stabilized and learn new ways of healing and coping, you can begin “considering happiness.” You can then map out with your therapist how you will create lasting happiness and quit fumbling for it once and for all. A trained and experienced counselor can help you identify ways to experience sustained happiness in your life. Please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment.