Who Are You Happiness?

By Kat Giles BSW, MSW, RSW  |  September 20th

Happiness is an emotion that we don’t typically examine in a counselling session.  Even though it is a well-researched topic, I don’t often talk about it with clients.  Why? My theory is that we identify happiness as a desirable feeling and many people come to talk only about feelings they think are undesirable.

Our current blog series is called “Who Are You Emotion?” We have been talking about how to externalize our emotions and understand what our emotions are communicating to us. I hope that by the end of reading this series, you are deeply convinced that all your emotions are good.

Happiness might seem like a strange emotion to look at, but it is just as important for us to examine it as it is to examine any other emotions we feel. Understanding happiness helps us understand our other emotions better. When I am cooking, I understand sour flavours better because I understand sweet flavours. Similarly, I can understand anger better because I understand happiness.

What does your happiness look like? We have been learning to externalize our emotions in this series. If your happiness was a person or object, what would it look like? What colour would it be? Where does happiness come into your life? What things make you feel happy? When are moments that you feel happiest?

Our second goal in this series is to understand what emotions are saying to us.  What does happiness say to you? Happiness – or the derivatives of happiness such as joy, peace and calm – is trying to say, “It’s all good” or “Everything is all right”.

When we understand what happiness communicates to us and identify the moments when we feel happiness, we can better respond to our other emotions. Happiness is an emotion that we all want to feel more of. Knowing what puts me in my “Everything is all right” mode can help me choose the strategies that I use to regulate my emotions. For instance, I feel happy when I’m outside hiking a trail, surrounded by trees. So, when feeling [anxious, angry, etc], I often can regulate my emotions by going out for a hike.

What makes you feel happy?