Being happy is not an easy task. Some of the difficulty is because many people are not sure what will make them happy. Setting and achieving goals is often associated with happiness, but it relies on the idea that, “I’ll be happy when…” This means that you are not happy now, and if you set the wrong goal – one that will not make you happy when you accomplish it – it is unlikely that you will gain that joy in the future.
Fortunately, there are likely dozens of moments when you feel pleasure and contentment almost everyday. While these may not be the intense happiness of achieving a goal or a big life event, they are the best way to identify what you need to be happy.
Determining What Makes You Happy
Thinking back, you can probably remember experiences that you enjoyed and disliked when you think about the event or situation as a whole. The next step is to break down that experience into smaller moments and consider which of those you enjoyed.
For instance, if you enjoyed a recent trip, ask yourself why it made you happy. This could include:
- Seeing New Places
- Leaving Behind Daily Responsibilities
- Spending Time with Traveling Companions (Or On Your Own)
It is also worth looking at experiences where you were unhappy. Take a job you disliked, for instance. Although you view working for that company as a negative overall, consider if there were any aspects that you did like, such as:
- Friendly Coworkers
- Certain Job Duties
- Speaking with Customers
Finally, think about the little things that make you happy every day. Do you like the moments you get to spend quietly reading? Visits to new restaurants? Preparing a meal for your family?
With this self reflection, you will begin to notice trends in the moments and activities that have traditionally brought you the most happiness. These trends are your guide for achieving happiness. Your understanding of the small moments that lead to joy in your life will enable you to set goals and seek out experiences that are likely to bring similar small moments of pleasure going forward.
A therapist can also help you translate your daily happiness moments into a plan for lifelong joy and positivity. For therapy in Garden City, Rockville Centre, Huntington, and Oceanside, call our team at Long Island Psychology.