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  Happiness is a way of being!                           by Helen Selenati

Happiness is more than an emotion, because emotions are subject to situational influences.  Happiness is not a mood, because moods are bio-chemically regulated. So what does it mean to be happy?  When Dan Baker conducted research for his book “What Happy People Know” he found that people who considered themselves to be happy had 12 qualities in common.  These are: Love, Optimism, Courage, Sense of freedom, Pro-activity, Security, Health, Spirituality, Altruism, Perspective, Humor, and Purpose. 

In a nutshell, happiness means engaging life fully, living with passion and propose, appreciating the special moments in life, and making a positive contribution.  Social support and connection with others are very important factors, as is the ability to believe in something larger than yourself.  Security has to come from the inside and cannot be provided by someone else or material objects. We can build our personal power by emphasizing our strengths and using our unique talents to create possibilities for ourselves.

Health need not be defined as the absence of disease, but rather an optimal way of being that allows for the ultimate engagement in life.  Having a healthy perspective on life allows you to focus on making a difference in the world you occupy, rather than thinking you can change the world. Like Mother Theresa who said she would rather march for peace than against war. 

We can enhance the happiness we experience in life by practicing appreciation – the more often you engage in appreciation the better you get at it and the more likely that it will become a habit. We can also learn to manage our choices so that our actions are congruent with our values and beliefs.  By managing our inner dialogue, the stories we tell ourselves should be constructive and supportive of our inner peace and happiness.

“Happiness is the whole aim and end of human existence” - Aristotle

Helen Selenati is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Coach. She has a private practice in Redwood City and can be reached at helen@selenati.com or by calling 650-596-0807. Also visit www.selenati.com



Copyright © 2004 - 2017 Helen Selenati