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The Long & Winding Road to Being Happy

Do you view happiness as something vague and hard to capture....or are you the type of person who naturally finds joy in fleeting, everyday moments? If you were to pick a word to describe your life, what word would it be? Astonishing? Confusing? Blessed? Unpredictable? Did you know you can actually "practise" your happiness skills and if you do, you are very likely to increase your personal happiness? Here are some suggestions and guidelines on how to increase your personal happiness quotient.

1. Find out what you need to do first. There are many "happiness quizzes" online. Try one to see if you can get a better understanding of what these skills are all about and how to improve upon your weaknesses and build your "happiness strengths."

2. Give yourself a confidence boost. Do you believe you can be happier? It's important to build your self-efficacy (your faith in your ability to succeed). Start with easier happiness skills such as gratitude or prioritizing spending time doing fun things.

3. Learn to feel better about yourself. Focus on the skills that are most closely linked to happiness such as positive self views, imagining your best self, noting your positive qualities or identifying your strengths.

4. Create better work-life balance. Are you miserable at work? Are you exhausted? You might need to build new skills that will make you happier. Start with creating a better work-life balance. You will need time and energy to focus on the changes you want or need to make.

5. Build a mindset for happiness. Do you believe you can change yourself? If we don't believe we can increase our happiness quotient, we won't even bother to try.

We all define happiness in different ways. When you know what happiness means to you, you will have an easier time finding it. Explore happiness and what it means to you, what it looks like and how it feels to you.

Written by: Tricia Slipacoff. Tricia is the co-owner of Northern Star Yoga & Pilates. She was a high school guidance counsellor with the Lambton Kent District School Board for 15 years.