Special Feature


Trying to stay happy in the current climate can be hard. Many of us are longing for authentic joy and happiness, but how exactly do we “find” it?

There’s a common belief that a high salary, fancy technology and the perfect body will make us happy. Although these things fulfill our needs in the moment, they don’t tend to make us happy in the long run. By seeking out extrinsic sources of happiness, we inadvertently end up on the “hamster wheel of happiness”- running in circles and rarely making progress towards achieving a meaningful life. Fortunately, research has discovered the things that do make us happy:

Using One “Signature Strength” Each Day

Knowing and using our character strengths increases engagement and meaning within our lives. You can use your character strengths at home by:

  • Preparing a meal for a loved one (kindness)
  • Creating a themed Spotify playlist (creativity)
  • Learn a new artistic skill (love of learning)

Creating Social Connections with Those Around You

Taking the time to create shared virtual experiences with those around you can profoundly improve your mood. Ways to create virtual social connections include:

  • Using Zoom to host a virtual “bake-off” with friends
  • Using Netflix Party and Zoom to create a virtual movie theater
  • Asking a friend to join you in a virtual workout or meditation class

Practicing Gratitude

Practicing gratitude reminds us to live in the present while lessening feelings of envy and frustration. You can practice gratitude by:

  • Writing in a gratitude journal
  • Practicing love and compassion meditations
  • Writing a heartfelt letter to someone

Finding happiness can be a struggle at times and being happy doesn’t mean negative emotions don’t exist. It’s OK to be annoyed, angry or sad sometimes. Notice these feelings, discover what they stem from and express them in ways that are healthy and in line with your values. If you’re truly struggling, don’t be afraid to seek out a mental health professional.

For a detailed look into the “Misconceptions of Happiness,” join us for our Zoom Wellness Workshop on Wednesday, October 14 at 4 p.m. Additional information can be found at asirecreation.org/calendar.

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