As the weather (finally) begins to turn towards summer and the sun is shining more often, it appears that many people are feeling happier and more content. However, allowing our emotions or level of happiness to be determined by the weather or any outside force is a tricky prospect (particularly in the Midwest). There is no exact outline of steps to being happy, but there are some things we can all do to pursue greater happiness in our lives.
First, we recognize that relationships and connection with others is essential to our overall happiness. This does not solely apply to romantic relationships, but to any supportive connection we make in our lives. We see this in those struggling with depression whose symptoms are often worsened by a desire to isolate from others. Also, lasting happiness is bolstered by practicing gratitude for not only material items but the people and events that bring us joy. Doing something kind for others, such as volunteering, can bring a sense of fulfillment that boosts happiness. Where we may initially believe that happiness is an individual concept, it cannot be achieved fully without engaging with other people!
What we can do on our own to experience greater happiness is to practice healthy habits, or self-care. Happiness grows through proper diet and exercise, sleep habits, and finding meaning in our lives. Happiness does not come automatically; this is why it is called a “pursuit”. Happiness is something that is unique to each individual, a state of being that needs to be cultivated and worked hard for. Thankfully, it gets easier with strong connections to our loved ones and communities.
If you are unhappy with your life and need support in making positive changes, call us at Main St. Psychiatry to learn how we can serve you in your pursuit of happiness.
Original material found at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/lifetime-connections/201804/happiness-is-practice-not-destination?collection=1117243