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If you want to be happier, you can. Too often we get caught up in thoughts of what hasn’t happened yet, what we haven’t gotten or how someone else is doing. Happiness comes from gratitude: finding the things in your day to day life to be grateful about.

Most people have to teach themselves how to be happy. They need to learn the skill of happiness and then get in the habit of practicing it. It doesn’t just happen. If you try to find happiness by having or getting more things, then you are taking yourself farther away from happiness. It is not about doing or having, but rather about being aware of where you are in the very moment.happinessStockphoto

Every morning before you get out of bed take a minute to think about all you have to be grateful for. As you move about your day pay attention to the goodness, stop to appreciate what is going well in your life. At the end of the day, reflect on the positive and teach yourself to be grateful.

It this is not to say that unfortunate, sad and distressing things won’t happen. This is not to say that you won’t feel pain. It is rather to say that you need to accept that sadness and pain are a part of life, but just one piece of many pieces. Do not let the incidents of pain and sadness define you or make pain and sadness your identity. Feelings are temporary and ever shifting. So hold on to those thoughts that bring happiness and let go of those that bring sadness.

Abraham Lincoln said it best; “Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

Rachel F. Beck, LCSW-C
March, 2014