Focusing on what makes us happy, not what makes us unhappy, positive psychology has become part of most people’s thinking. A foundational assertion is that happiness is not the result of luck or your genes but a state that can be cultivated by practising certain thought patterns. So, here are three techniques from the field that we have found to be most useful ourselves and with many of our clients.
Savour pleasurable experiences (We have written about this before and it is worth repeating again and again) by going over them in your imagination, enhancing them and re-creating the feelings. Think about what made the experience so good; talk about it to others; milk it as much as you can.
Cultivate hope The data is clear- people who exhibit high levels of hope tend to be happier. Hope doesn’t need to be unrealistic. It is just a small step from feeling defeated to entertaining the possibility that perhaps things could work out. Just keeping that idea open can lift mood and enable you to pursue goals and challenges that otherwise would be closed to you.
Make forgiveness a way of life. Chronic unforgiving seems to be part of the human condition and can cause serious harm to our health, relationships and general well-being. Making forgiveness a state of mind by accepting others as they are, means that we can let go of the anger, hostility and resentment that are fuelled by blame and judgement. By forgiving we suffer less and as a consequence feel happier.
If you want to feel a little happier, give it a try.
Jocelyn and Kristina at Trance-Formed