H is for: A to Z of Emotional Health & Well-being
We continue our look at Emotional Health & Wellbeing. H is for Happiness
Happiness – The basics
What is happiness and how can you achieve it? That’s no small ask and perhaps what many people ask themselves, indeed it is a core feature in counselling sessions.
Often when I see clients I ask them what they want from their counselling sessions – What are their goals? Although there is a mix of wants and needs one of the most common goals is ‘I just want to be happy’
Sounds easy right – change the unhappiness into happiness and the goal is met – Bingo!
Only I am sure you have guessed already that it isn’t as simple as that!
Because as with most things to achieve ‘happiness’ you first have to know what happiness is. Then you need to know how it will feature in someone’s life and then how is this person going to be able to make this happen for them.
A question I often ask clients is ‘do you mean you want to stop feeling unhappy?’– and this can often be a really good place to start exploring what could be going on to prevent this person enjoying their life at the moment.
Happiness is not a linear goal – Everyone’s definition is different. A bit like arranging a day trip with the family and trying to incorporate everyone likes and avoid their dislikes – It can be quite a challenge to achieve a balance where everyone enjoys themselves and occasionally it can be totally impossible. One person’s paradise is another person’s disaster.
And that I feel is what is important to remember about happiness, It’s meaning is so broad, there are few rights or wrongs to what gives a person real happiness.
That for me is one of the beauties of happiness – The individuality of it – What is one person’s delight is another person’s misery.
This post is an introduction to happiness – next week, we will introduce the theory of how happiness is achieved and some suggestions to incorporate it into our, often difficult, everyday lives.