Can You Turn On “Happy?” Not So Much

Are you happy? Or do you struggle to find happiness? Unfortunately “happy” is not something you can just turn on like a light switch. But it is something you can learn to develop. Happiness is tied to well-being and requires nurturing as your attitude and habits evolve.

“Recognize the things you are grateful for,” said Kelcy Short, LCPC, therapist with Memorial Behavioral Health. “Before bed, keep a notebook and write down three things you are grateful for that day. Try this for 30 days, and you should notice that you are starting to focus on more of the positive than the negative. Even on the most challenging days, there is always something to be grateful for – this activity helps to rewire your thought process.”

Here are some other steps you can take to make positive changes:

  1. Self-perception. Acknowledge the good things about you and use positive self-talk.
  2. Optimism and life satisfaction. Bad things should not affect your entire outlook. Recognize the good events that occur and the positive things and people in your life.
  3. Stay connected and spend time with people who make you happy and support you.
  4. Sense of purpose. Stay involved with activities that add meaning to your life. Be engaged in those activities that provide you with a sense of meaning.
  5. Practice healthy behaviors. Take care of your mental health and physical health. Exercise regularly and eat nutritious foods. Schedule enough sleep and take time for self-care.

“Take small steps to focus on habits of happiness each day,” Short said. “And if you need help, reach out to a counselor to help you learn these strategies.

Need to talk?  

Memorial Behavioral Health offers counselors who can help you with emotional wellness. Find the location nearest you.

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