But how? How do you make happiness your "go to" emotion despite the dramas and traumas that we have all experienced and will inevitably continue to experience? One way I have found is to hold happiness as one of my highest values. Most of us don't typically identify happiness as a value. We may identify family, friends, God, a strong work ethic, money, time for ourselves or contribution as values just to name a few. But, how these values show up in our lives, I believe, is directly related first, to the emotional states we value. So, if we don't highly value a great quality state of emotion like happiness or gratitude how can all those other values I mentioned be experienced positively and to their highest potential? I don't believe they can.
"There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion." Carl JungHere are come common happiness blockers. Really, they are just stories we tell ourselves don't buy them!
Do you ever think or believe:
"If I allow myself to be happy something bad will happen. If something bad happens I'll be devastated, it's better to be prepared." (And I will prepare by worrying)
"If I allow myself to feel and show happiness others might take advantage of me, or I might not be respected." (Happiness means weakness)
"I can't feel happy when everywhere I look people are so sad and struggling I would feel terribly guilty. (Happiness is selfish)
We feel what we focus on, our experience of life is determined by the meaning we give things and the emotional states we choose to value.There is so much we cannot choose in this life; so much we have no control over. We cannot control what others do or say, we cannot control what they think of us or not think of us. We cannot control the all too real tragedy's that happen to people every day. BUT, we can 100% control the meanings we give all things, people, situations and events. We can choose our perceptions and our thoughts which ultimately create how we feel. If we choose to value happiness, gratitude, joy, and peace (just to name a few) as our primary emotional values just think how that could impact all the other aspects of our lives, and the other great values we hold. It's a completely different world! It's Freedom! the greatest value of all right?
Happiness and gratitude: You need it, you deserve it, without it you won't grow or contribute to your true potential.
It's holiday time again. I am always amazed how fast time flies. I always say that life is too short AND too long to feel stressed and unhappy all the time. Life is too good because it is! Where there is bad there is always good, where there is dark there is always light. What do you have to be happy about right now? What might you be taking for granted? The smallest things are most often the best things. What do you need to remember to feel happy and grateful? Dreading the family gathering? Shift that focus to what you can appreciate about the situation and the people. Don't leave anything out.
Right now, in this moment, see it, hear it, it's Thanksgiving, so smell it and taste it too! NOW feel it! Got it? Feeling it?
I knew it; nothing bad happened! Now just do THAT feeling over and over and over.......
You Got This!
Happy Thanksgiving! I am so grateful for YOU!!!
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Peg Haust-Arliss, LCSW-R
Holistic Psychotherapist, Anxiety Specialist and Life StrategistVisit my website and grab your free Stress and Anxiety Toolkit!