Sometimes, the mental health field can seem to focus solely on the things we want to move away from rather than on what we want to move towards. Blogs and posts cover topics such as coping with depression or anxiety and exploring what you can do about trauma.
Whilst these things are important, we can sometimes miss the wood for the trees. In this example, the trees are the occasions in our life and the wood is a life well lived. To have a life well lived, we need not only focus on the things that go wrong but, more importantly, look for those things that go right and bring joy and happiness into our lives.
The question is, do you know what brings happiness to your life? When was the last time you caught yourself being happy? Where were you? What were you doing? Who were you doing it with?
Spend a few moments right now thinking about where you were when you last felt happy, who you were with and what you were doing.
Whilst we can all have fleeting moments of happiness every day, there is something to be said about savouring those moments. In the same way you might use a small spoon to eat your favourite dessert so you can savour the taste you enjoy or when you replay that favourite movie scene which elicits loud belly laughs. Reliving or savouring your happy moments can bring more happiness into your life.
We have all had moments where we have relived a negative emotion simply by thinking about it. Well, the same is true for thinking about happy moments. It’s a bit like gratitude – the more you pay attention to the things that you are grateful for in your life, the more likely you are to develop an attitude of gratitude. If you pay more attention to the things that make you happy, you might just be surprised at how much more happiness you experience in your life overall.
To help you get started, write down five things that make you happy.
This blog was written as part of the Office for Students' Black Students Mental Health Project at London South Bank University. Check out the full range of wellbeing resources available on the Good Thinking website.