WHAT IS THE PATH TO HAPPINESS?

Molly L. Stranahan, Psy.D., Founder and Chief Happiness Advocate believes

happiness* is our natural state  

However, there are times unpleasant feelings – sadness, anxiety, frustration, worry, fear, loneliness, anger, guilt, shame or any of the myriad variations – get in the way of our happiness. We tend to believe those feelings are caused by what is happening to us. The truth is, our feelings are a result of the STORY we tell ourselves about what is happening to us. The same circumstances can create very different feelings in two different people because they each have a different story about what is happening. Your feelings and responses to what is happening to you depend on the story you tell yourself about the motives of others, whether the world is a fearful place or a loving place, and whether you are inadequate and unlovable, or good enough and even perfectly imperfect.

You can choose to be happier – by dealing with things in the way of your

happiness

The process described in Transform What’s In the Way of Your Happiness  that you can try for yourself along with Transforming What’s in the Way (PDF), are tools to help you identify your story AND alternative stories that could lead to more peace and happiness. It can help you discover what is in your control, so you can take action, and what is not in your control so you can let go of trying to change things that are not in your power to change. If you find the process useful, I hope you will use it every time you notice an uncomfortable feeling is interfering with your ability to enjoy your life exactly as it is. I’d love your feedback on how it works for you, so, please email Molly.

You can choose to be happier – by practicing

happiness boosters

As the field of Positive Psychology has developed over the last twenty years, research has confirmed a number of practices that result in greater happiness, better relationships and more contentment. Healthy relationships are the biggest correlate to happiness. Molly defines these as relationships in which we can be our authentic selves and know there is someone who will support us through the challenges life brings as well as celebrate our successes with us. Another big factor in our happiness is believing our life makes a difference in some way that connects to what we think is important. It can be through work (like Molly’s – teaching people to be happier!), volunteer activities, or through being a good friend, raising a happy, self-sufficient child, or engaging in acts of kindness. Somewhat connected to that, satisfaction with life is enhanced when we use our unique set of skills in service to something we value. Making your life choices in alignment with your values enhances your happiness, and acting in opposition to our values brings unhappiness, stress and depression. Knowing the kind of person you want to be, and living up to those aspirations as much as possible, brings joy and contentment. The Growing Happier section of the website shares several dozen practices you can try. Practice your favorites and try new ones to enhance your happiness today and in the future. 

You can choose to be happier – by exploring these resources

If you would like to learn more about one-on-one sessions with Molly Individual Sessions has all the details. If you like reading, here are some basic stepping stones on the path to happiness. What I’ve Learned About How to Be Happier is adapted from an article Molly wrote in 2006 for on ezine in the form of 25 Resolutions for Happiness: What I’ve Learned… So Far. Stepping Stones on the Path to Happiness is a list adapted from that article. Happiness Is a Choice presents some of the choices you have in how you see your life. What Can I Change? summarizes options so you can focus your efforts where they can make a difference.
Choose to be happier!    You have found the place        to learn what YOU can do             to have a happier,                  more fulfilling life!
* By happiness, I mean serenity, contentment, peacefulness, joy, and my favorite word: ataraxy which means "a state of tranquility, free from emotional disturbance and anxiety." Wikipedia defines happiness as a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions rangingfrom contentment to intense joy. Our feelings are a result of the stories we tell ourselves Story CHANGE YOUR CHANGE YOUR CHANGE YOUR Feelings Life Our goal is to help you get to a place where most days you can say, “Life is good!” or even “I LOVE my life!” no matter what is happening to or around you. CORE BELIEFS ABOUT Happiness
The purpose of life is to be happy. I am responsible for my own happiness. I can't make other people happy. I can increase my happiness level. Happiness is contagious. Our happiness is not just based on what happens to us, it is based on HOW WE INTERPRET what happens to us.
© Molly L. Stranahan, Psy.D. 2016
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