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Do-it-yourself (DIY) happiness, or rely on others?
When it comes to decorating, gardening and fixing things around the house, some of us have the DIY skills we need whilst others have to employ a professional to do it for them. As long as the job(s) gets done then either approach is fine but if you are looking to increase your happiness, wellbeing and life-satisfaction unfortunately, your only option is to do-it-yourself!
Happiness in the past
Perhaps you yearn for and miss the happy, carefree days of your past when problems seemed few and hedonic experiences were frequent. You may not have the time, opportunity or energy to do the things today that you used to, the ones that you remember made you feel happy, vital and alive. Nowadays, you may be struggling to juggle the responsibilities of work, family, relationships and the effects of ageing (yourself and/or your parents). If you look backwards to find happy memories and experiences, you may be cheating yourself out of the happiness you could be appreciating NOW!
Happiness in the Future
Perhaps, you are looking forward to happiness in the future – when you retire, get a job, get divorced, get married, get promoted, lose weight, have a baby, get out of debt, see your children leave home etc. If you look forward and anticipate happy memories and experiences in the future, you may be cheating yourself out of the happiness you could be appreciating NOW!
Happiness from others
Perhaps, you depend on other people to make you happy – a loving relationship, respect and admiration from the people you work with, pride in your children’s achievments, friends who rally round to cheer you up when you’re feeling down. Whilst it is natural to enjoy these things, if you are relient upon them for your happiness you may be cheating yourself out of the happiness you could be appreciating NOW!
Happiness as a goal
Perhaps, you already know what will make you idyllically happy and believe you’ll attain constant happiness if, or when you reach your goal(s). Or you may have a clearer understanding of what is making you unhappy and what you need to get rid of in your life before you can call yourself a happy person. If you believe that happiness is something that can be captured and kept at a constant level for long periods of time you may be cheating yourself out of the happiness you could be appreciating NOW!
Perhaps, you have heard of positive psychology, the scientific study of what enables us to optimise our potential to be healthy, happy and flourish. When you understand the biological and neurological elements of positive emotions (those that give us the physiological and psychological feelings of what we call ‘happiness’) you will understand how to optimise your experience of them and understand why happiness can only ever be felt NOW!
What makes a DIY expert in any field, is the knowledge and skills they learn which enable them to perform certain tasks. The wonderful news is that positive psychology can provide you with all the knowledge and skills you need to maximise your happiness potential and it’s never too late (or too early) to start. Whether you been fortunate to gain natural resources from your inherited character traits, good role models from your parents, teachers and peers or not, you can learn ‘how’ to be the happiest person you can be NOW! Once, you hold this knowledge you can apply it and become your own ‘happiness DIY expert’.
Happiness in the real world
Even the most skilled DIY experts can only do their best with the conditions they face as they come across them, and so too can you. Just as it’s difficult to wallpaper a wonky wall, so too, it is difficult to be happy in challenging circumstances. The resources of resilience, optimism and character strengths are all skills that can be learned and practically applied in real life situations. It’s neither appropriate or realistic to feel happy all the time and some people will always face more challenges than others. However, if you are always as happy as you can be in the situation you find yourself in, isn’t that the most you could ask for anyway? And like any good DIY expert – never blame your tools!
Positive Psychology Learning Courses
If you would like to find out more about increasing your happiness and positive psychology, please join us on our next course, an 1DAY2 Be Happier, which is being held in The New Forest at Balmer Lawn Hotel on 22nd January 2016. Find out more about the course, including the special offer. Alternatively, if you would like us to come and run a course for your business or organisation, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your requirements in more detail.
‘Positive Psychology Learning – Maximising Potential’