How can I get happy?

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Why is it so hard to be or stay happy?

It takes a commitment to choose happiness. Genetically, you are hardwired to think in a negative way because your brain was first created to survive. This cautious and suspicious approach has worked because it has kept our species alive. Unfortunately, this part of your brain does not create joy.

In addition, our society, encourages discontent. You need this cream to look younger or take this pill and feel better. Much of what we hear, is not what we need. I am not saying there isn’t a time or place for medication. For those with mental illness, medication is a requirement for mood stability. Mood stability is a building block to true happiness. People who experience severe depressive episodes, schizophrenia or bi-polar may have more of a challenge to get happy, although you can do it.

Why make happiness a goal?

Here are some benefits based on research. Lyubormirsky, Diener and King (2005) reviewed 200 studies and found the happiest people (a) had better marriages (b) more fulfilling friendships and social relationships (c) better coping skills (d) more satisfaction with their work (e) higher incomes in general. If you believe people are happy because they have the above, you need to turn it around. People who are happy create these situations in their lives and you can too.

How can you get some of what these happy people have?

The good news is, much of happiness is within your control. Being happy does not have to take a lot of work. Think about a time you felt truly happy. When you allowed and let go, the happiness emotion flowed within you.

Here are three techniques to get you started on creating more happiness in your life today:

Be mindful- Whether you practice meditation or the ability to notice the present moment, you build awareness. Being in the now allows you to be fully here, rather than stuck in the regrets of the past or worries about the future. Activities such as focusing on one task at a time, savoring and enjoying the meal you are eating or celebrating good moments, all increase one’s happiness.

Do for others- People get pleasure from helping others because in giving, you receive. Start performing random acts of kindness. These actions can be relatively inexpensive or free. Read this blog for ideas on how to begin –> 10 Powerful Yet Simple Ways to Spread Kindness Energy 

Change your thoughts– At one point or another, you will face some form of adversity in life. You cannot choose the circumstances that happen to you but you can choose how you think about them and yourself.

This is not as simple as inserting a positive thought into your life. You need to investigate your core beliefs and re-frame thoughts in a realistic (not overly optimistic) way. Learn how to accept a situation for what it is and let go of any suffering thoughts. In psychology, this is known as cognitive behavioral therapy. You may ask; Do I need to go to therapy to learn this? You can do it yourself. There are times you will benefit from having a professional’s expertise, who helps you see objectively. Let’s drop the mental health stigma once and for all and put your happiness first!

What is one small thing you will do today to bring some happiness into your life?

Reference: Lyubomirsky, S., Diener, E., King., L.(2005) The benefits of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success? Psychological Bulletin, 13(6) 803-855.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Lisa is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at

10 Ways to Support Your Favorite Creative

Creativity does not get the same validation in society as other professions.  Where would you be without beautiful works of art to decorate your home, music that reaches in and soothes your soul after a long hard day or the inspirational words of your favorite writer giving you the encouragement to reach for your dreams?  Let’s face it, the creative arts keep us all going in tough times often expressing an inner yearning that we can not yet reach through our own words and expressions. In order to honor those who have given so much, here are ten ways to acknowledge and support those who work in creativity.

  • Buy her products, artwork, books, classes and articles

Money is an energy that you can use to support your favorite creative.  This world is a material one and your creative will need cash flow in order to continue the work that you and she loves.

  • Leave a kick ass review/testimonial

Putting your appreciation into words is a great gift.  When you write a review state what product you bought and how it has changed your life in a positive way.  One way to do this is to describe a before and after scenario.

  • Like/Share and Comment in Facebook posts about her blogs, business & products

Social media works great when others like, comment and share.  If a post has no likes, comments or shares it will not last long in the news feed.  Likes are wonderful, consider also leaving a comment which makes a more personal connection. Facebook places items with lots of attention into the news feed for more people to feast upon.

  • Tweet!

Use your 140 words or less and give a shout out to your creative.  Tweet about their products, blogs or ask others to follow especially on Fridays with #FF.

  • Pray & send her positive blessings

Your thoughts are a powerful energy.  When you send up prayers for your creative and her business it make a difference and is greatly appreciated.

  • Comment on an actual blog post

When you comment on the actual blog post, others who are bloggers on that same system will get an opportunity to read it and follow future blogs.  This helps your creative get noticed and build a loyal base of followers.

  • Become a benefactor/make a donation to her

If you have the money and want to donate to a good cause, consider the creative in your life.  Most creatives are not classified as non –profits, your money most likely would not be tax-deductible.  Although, you could support a mission or cause that you believe in on a deeper level.

  • Send her a thank you note or card for service well done

Thank you notes and cards are original ways to connect with your creative and give them a boost of encouragement.  This becomes a keepsake for the creative who can look back and read these positive messages on those dark days.

  • Refer your friends and family to her

There is no bigger compliment than telling others that you trust and like a certain creative’s products.  You may not realize that one of the best ways to boost a business is through word of mouth like yours.  You have a power, go out and use it for good.

  • Encourage her when she feels down

Be a kind ear and motivator.  It is tough work being a creative.  She has to learn how to ride the biggest waves of success and the lowest points of no responses or rejections.  There are many times your creative will want to give up, don’t let her!

In the next 3 months, I am asking you to commit to supporting your favorite creative even more.  This could mean adding in a couple of new ways to help that you have not tried before or doing what you are currently doing on a deeper level.  As a creative, I thank you.  For what you do to help one creative helps us all.

If you enjoyed this blog, I invite you to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.

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