January 13, 2015 

Most of us spend a good deal of time pursuing happiness, either directly or indirectly. We often look to external factors- dining out, enjoying a glass of wine, buying a beautiful piece of jewelry, traveling- to "make" us happy, investing significant time and money to achieve it. Rather than look externally, we are better served by looking within. Start by taking stock of who you are and appreciate what you do have. Happiness is defined more by your state of mind rather than the "stuff" you have or do.


Resolve to Make No New Year's Resolutions. 

We put effort into drafting ambitious New Year's Resolutions, determined to find happiness by making the changes that eluded us last year- like losing weight, exercising more, and other self-improvement goals. If or when we fall short, we feel we have failed. Resolutions made in good faith may end up causing more harm than good. 

Make A Commitment to Happiness:  
Positive Thinking
Start small. Set modest goals you can realistically integrate into your life. Commit to walking each day or using the stairs rather than the elevator. Next expand on these small changes, creating increasingly broader goals. Tweak your goals if the ones you set are not working.  Change is a process, not a point in time.

Examine the situations that cause you stress. Are there easy steps you can take to regain control? For example, evidence shows that frequent checking of emails increases stress and decreases productivity. Can you commit to limiting email checks to a few times a day? Many successful people cite the importance of daily meditation to their achievements; perhaps this is something you can begin to incorporate. Simply taking the time to breathe deeply increases a sense of well-being critical to achieving happiness.
Strategies for Increasing Happiness:
  • Keep a daily journal, focusing on the things that make you happy. Then pursue those experiences.
  • Smile. The physical action of using the facial muscles involved in a smile sets off a neurochemical reaction that improves mood.
  • Connect with friends and loved ones. Researchers have found that people are happier when they are with other people then when alone.
  • Exercise: it increases endorphins and decreases depression and anxiety.
  • Focus on solutions not problems.
  • Look at what you have done rather than what you have not.
  • Visualize what happiness and success would look like for you. Seeing it in your mind can propel you toward it in actuality.
  • Take Action and Get Positive Results 

    Commit to taking a positive action for yourself each day, whether it be the suggestions above or any other positive steps that may work for you. Build upon your successes.  


    At Core Counseling, you can pursue Mind-Body Wellness through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness and other therapeutic techniques. To find out more or to schedule an appointment, call me at Core Counseling, LLC: 201.875.5699. Experience a comfortable, private and confidential environment with an atmosphere of encouragement, optimism and compassion. 

    Together we can find solutions to your core issues. "It's not what happens to us that makes us happy or sad, it's what we think about what happens to us." Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life.

    Wishing you a happy and healthy 2015,

    Lisa Fedder, MSW, LCSW, LCADC
    560 Sylvan Avenue                     108 Baker Street
    Englewood Cliffs, NJ  07632       Maplewood, NJ  07040
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