Fumbling for Happiness – The Practical Side

Even if you are not what people refer to as “clinically depressed,” you may believe happiness is elusive, an enigma or just something you see on TV or in movies. Few people seem to exude joy and happiness on a regular basis. And yet, if you surveyed people on the street for a day outside your home or office the majority would say they want to be happy.

So why is happiness so elusive? There are several reasons, but here are two. First, if you are suffering with a mental health disorder like Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder as well as many other disorders, happiness can be nearly impossible to achieve without support–especially professional support from a licensed mental health counselor. People overcoming mental health disorders also need positive coping skills and sometimes even medication (prescribed by a regular doctor or psychiatrist) to achieve happiness. Resolving mental illness, just like treating physical illness, requires the proper support and interventions.

The other reason happiness can be so difficult to achieve is because we do not really understand it. I say “achieve,” because happiness is work. In fact, it is a work in progress. Just like with romance, we have this idea about happiness that it “just happens.” We succumb to believing this, I think, mostly by watching television and movies and reading books where happiness is wrongly portrayed as natural and effortless. The truth is happiness, like romance, requires energy, investment, planning and thoughtfulness.   

Happiness does “just happen” SOMETIMES and is there for the taking, in a sense. However, more often, happiness is created. We must think about happiness, search for it and dream about it. We must figure out both what truly makes us happy and what obstructs our realization of joy. Oftentimes, we think we know what makes (or will make) us happy and are completely wrong.

If you are fumbling for happiness a licensed mental health counselor can help you. She can assess you to determine whether or not you are suffering from depression or another mental illness. A psychotherapist can also provide support and help you identify ways to achieve happiness daily and throughout your life. Please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment with a counselor.


Yolanda Brailey