Portland Therapy Blog

Portland Therapy Blog

Local experts share the latest information and resources on all things mental health.

Choosing Happiness: 6 Steps

Posted: May 15, 2015 by info@uncommonlovepdx.com

Happiness is a choice.

All too often the distraction and hustle of our life stops us from making choices that support our happiness. We can miss opportunities to make beneficial choices even when they are right in front of us.

So where can you start? Here are six choices to make now to increase your happiness.

1. Stop caring what other people think of you. We spend a lot of energy trying to prove ourselves to other people in this world. What other people think is beyond our control, so worrying about it won’t actually help. Imagine if instead of losing that energy trying to please others, you focused all that energy on pleasing yourself. What would you do differently today?

2. Quit gossiping. Gossiping is just a way of focusing time and energy on negative, judgmental thoughts. Instead, shift your focus to aspiration, admiration, and gratitude and notice the shift in your mood that follows.

3. Let go of insecurity. Insecurity often comes from judgment and comparison. When we let go of these two, we can move into a more compassionate relationship with ourselves. Notice where you feel insecurity sneaking into your daily life and boost your confidence, or ask for a boost from someone you trust.

4. Stop taking things personally. Learning to let things go and not take stuff too seriously is critical to happiness. When you notice you are making things all about yourself, try to acknowledge its going on and might not be accurate. Again, shift the focus to your strengths, appreciation, and gratitude.

5. Don’t try to buy your happiness. Give up spending money on what you don’t need in an effort to buy happiness. Money truly cannot buy happiness – all the research on the richest folks show that they struggle just as much with lasting happiness as the rest of us. No material good will give you lasting happiness.

6. Give up control. One of my mentors used to remind me, “you can’t force anything good.” And she was right. You can’t force happiness, you have to allow space for it. Learning to let go is critical to long-term happiness.

Tags: mood and feelings