We all want to be happy, but the truth is that happiness does not just happen. Just like most things in life we need to figure out a plan and recognize what does and does not bring happiness into our lives. We cannot be happy all of the time, but we can objectively step back and look at where we can find happiness, and what triggers a decrease in that happiness. It is important to realize that happiness is not something “we find” or that “finds us.” We need to learn what are sometimes referred to as “happiness skills,” and see which skills we excel at, and which ones might need some work. How do you figure out your happiness strengths and weaknesses?
You can start by learning Self- Acceptance: The ability to accept yourself and your emotions non-judgmentally. What is the running commentary in your head? Are you constantly putting yourself down for how you look, what you said or what you did not do? One of the major skills to leaning happiness is to develop positive methods of self-talk. Take some time in your day to really notice what you are saying to yourself. Are you calling yourself an “idiot” for spilling coffee, or missing the bus? We often think of happiness as something that is a result of our outside environment, but it really starts with our own thoughts and our own reactions to them. Does your self-talk make you happy? If not, that might be a happiness skill that could use a boost. Many of us grew up in environments were happiness skills were not taught. Like everything in life happiness takes work, so start off small, recognize what you are saying to yourself, and build your happiness skills.