NYC Therapist: The Truth About Happiness — And How To Achieve It

Nov 02, 2023
The Truth About Happiness

NYC Therapist: The Truth About Happiness — And How To Achieve It

Let’s start with a couple of questions you no doubt have asked yourself many times: What is happiness? How do I become a happy  (or at least happier) person?

There is no one single answer that will satisfy everybody.  That’s because all of us have our own personal view of what it means to be happy.

One thing is certain: Happiness is not merely a matter of luck, it doesn’t come from the abundance of wealth, or from any other external  circumstance.

Also, that feeling of contentment and satisfaction doesn’t just “happen”; rather, it is shaped by our thoughts and feelings. In other words, it really is “all in your mind.”

We all know or heard of people who seemingly have everything but are still unsatisfied with their lives. On the other spectrum are those who are facing various challenges and hardships, yet manage to find the proverbial “silver lining” in every situation.

How? Research shows that people who feel fulfilled and satisfied with their lives know that being happy comes not from outside, but from a positive mindset, an optimistic outlook, emotional resilience, and an ability to put things in perspective.

Do these people have some ancient secret to finding happiness even in dire circumstances?

Actually, whatever these  “ancient secrets” may be, they are quite simple:

Define your personal happiness

Think about what it means to be happy. Make a list of 10 most important things and top priorities in your life. Good health? Family and friends? Fulfilling job? More money? Good marriage? Whatever it is, you will probably find that you already have many things on your list. 

If not, keep in mind this old but wise saying: “If you don’t have what you like, then like what you have.” 

Set realistic goals and expectations

If you don’t, then it is almost a given that you will end up disappointed, frustrated, and bitter.

Know your limits and be pragmatic about what you can and can’t do or achieve. Then, if things don’t turn out as you hoped, you will not be crushed.

Be satisfied with what you have and who you are

Yes, there will always be people who are smarter, wealthier, and more attractive than you are.

But that’s okay and it’s  not a reason to make yourself unhappy. This may sound like a cliché, but it’s true: Find joy, serenity and inner peace in “little” things and everyday events.

Don’t take anything (or anyone) for granted

We all tend to do that and don’t even realize it until we lose someone or something we hold dear.

 So never, ever stop to appreciate what you have. Be grateful for even the smallest blessings. 

 Don’t dwell on the past or hold grudges

 Bitter and angry people will never find happiness. So let go of whatever bad things happened in the past and stop over-analyzing them. By the same token, don’t take life or your own problems too seriously. It’s important to be able to rationalize when things don’t go according to plan.

Engage in uplifting activities 

Whether it’s playing (or listening to) music, exercising, or reading a good book, engage in these activities as often as you can. There’s actual scientific evidence showing that doing what you enjoy releases endorphins, chemicals produced naturally by the nervous system to cope with pain or stress, while boosting feelings of well-being.

And who can argue with science?