BLOG_2021_02_18 How to Support Your Own Happiness

How to Support Your Own Happiness

18 FEB 2021

When you were little and the teacher asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, you surely didn’t answer “miserable!”

At every stage in life, unhappiness is not a state to which we aspire. But with the economy rolling downhill, the vision of our own prosperity can seem like a tiny, inflatable raft in an ocean of fear.

In such unstable times, the pursuit of happiness can feel like a taunt rather than an inalienable right. Still, its pursuit is worth the effort.

Emerging research shows while trauma has a profound impact on the brain, the brain is not as hard-wired as previously thought. We can learn how to change our neuro pathways to trigger the creative side of our brain rather than continually relying on the left side that keeps us fighting for our survival. We can learn to be happier. In fact, the most popular class at Harvard University is one in which students learn to train their brains to cultivate, what instructor Tal Ben-Shahar calls, "the ultimate currency: happiness".

Why Happiness Matters

Medical evidence suggests being unhappy affects our memory and our capacity to learn, while increasing the risk of illness. On the flip side, happier people are more likely to:

  • be more creative, confident and productive.
  • have a stronger network of allies and friends.
  • be sick less often and get well faster.

According to researchers, happy people live on average 9 years longer than unhappy people! That alone should encourage each of us to become happier.

How to Support Your Own Happiness

If you would like to train your brain for happiness, consider some of these ideas:

Decide you want to be happier. When you make the decision to be happier, you start to notice choices for happiness you may have missed before. Those choices may be small, such as lying down for 10 minutes when you’re tired rather than powering through a task. When you start to create a habit of seeking happiness, the habit will grow and strengthen over time. Creating your desire is the first step.

Acknowledge your feelings. When you feel distressed, don’t make it worse by beating yourself up for being upset. Do your best to accept your feelings - Don’t resist your feelings. When you give your feelings respect and attention, they usually begin to shift on their own, and you start to feel better.

Work with your thoughts. If you’re having thoughts that are hurtful to you, try reaching for a better thought or scenario you can actually believe. For instance, if you’re worried about losing your job, recall something stable in your life, whether it’s your partner’s income or your healthy savings account. Also, it helps to remember other difficult times you lived through and came out stronger. You can handle it. When your mind returns to the worry, bring it back to the better-feeling thought.

Celebrate success. Whether it’s the achievement of a major goal or a week when your children got along, take in the accomplishment, and give yourself and your children a pat on the back. Find a way to celebrate, so the sense of accomplishment and happy hormones are elevated.

Seek meaning. Happiness comes from doing something that gives us pleasure and meaning. If your job doesn’t provide that, find something that does. It could be a hobby, volunteering, taking a course, or allowing time to read a book or cook something tasty. Make sure you do these activities consistently and often to find joy.

Express gratitude. Being grateful for everything makes your day better, from your partner’s smile to your morning latte.  The more gratitude you express, the less you concentrate on what you don’t have and enjoy what you do have.  This can be very powerful and change your attitude quickly.

As you practice happiness and make it a habit, you’ll find yourself in a lovely upward spiral that will support you through challenging times.

There are numerous other tips I can offer you to help you elevate your happiness levels. Let's talk if you want to learn more! Click here


Take 20 minutes to write down all the things in your life for which you are grateful.

This includes the challenges and struggles you have faced that have made you the person you are today.

Subsequently, spend 10 minutes each day expressing gratitude.


Visit my blog