Does it seem that everyone is talking about the topic of "happiness"? Can happiness be studied? Why does happiness seem effortless to some, but not to others? Here are some research facts related to the topic of happiness ...


Through the scientific research of happiness, we now have a better understanding of the significant factors that may encourage or deter individuals from feeling happy. Many  books have been authored by experts in the field of positive psychology, which is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living (Psychology Today, 2008). 

According to well-known positive psychologist, Martin Seligman, there are 3 aspects to happiness: pleasure, engagement, and meaningfulness. 

Behaviors or activities that cultivate these 3 life areas have been demonstrated to boost our happiness. 

What do we really need to know about happiness? 

Wellness Counseling Services meets with many individuals and families that are pursuing happiness. Below are some ideas about how to cultivate happiness by developing more pleasure, engagement and meaningfulness in our life.


1. Do What Is Good For You

It may seem self centered to focus all this attention on the pursuit of happiness.   However, happy people are more healthy, generous and altruistic. Beginning with your self-care is important.

Dealing with the past and knowing how to be healthy in the present is an important part of preparation for happiness; this is the foundation for personal pleasure.

Basic self-care includes:  

Develop a physical fitness routine
When you engage in physical fitness your brain will immediately get to work and begin to release chemicals called endorphins that block pain signals and create a feel good effect. These endorphins can be likened to have similar effects as opiates. 

Maintain positive thoughts
Negative thinking like other cognitive patterns, are typically habitual. Therefore, positive thinking can also become habitual with practice over time. The more self aware you are of negative thinking patterns the better you can adopt techniques to minimize such thoughts.  

Maintain gratitude
The moment-to-moment appreciation of the goodness in your life no matter how small, can influence your mood over time. Like positive thoughts, gratitude at first may need to be practiced. You may begin by using a journal to create a daily list of everything you are grateful for. Eventually, you may notice a shift from remembering what to be grateful for to adopting an attitude of gratitude in which there is an acknowledgement and gratefulness towards all your experiences even the difficult ones. 

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2. Do What You Are Good At Doing
Time spent engaged in using our skills is a way of maximizing our feeling of enjoyment in life.  We experience a sense of fulfillment and purpose in life as we discover our abilities and use them effectively.  

This could be accomplished in a professional or vocational setting at work, or in a more personal manner, such as a sport or hobby. According to Seligman, using one's unique strengths and talents daily are essential to building a rewarding life with an authentic sense of happiness.

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3.  Do Something For Others
Altruistic behavior or simply just helping someone is known to enhance our mood.  Most of us have experienced this at some time, but the practice of making this a priority is key to developing meaningfulness in life, a key ingredient to happiness.  

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During the upcoming holidays, find pleasure in taking care of yourself, stay engaged in using your talents and strengths, and look for opportunities to connect to others in a helpful way, which will lead to a sense of meaningfulness in life.  See how these practices can cultivate happiness in your life!  
At Wellness Counseling Services, we are especially thankful to all our past, present and future wonderful clients.
May we all experience a practice of developing happiness throughout our journey in life!
Therapy provides an opportunity to reflect on lifestyle patterns, gain insight, and learn new tools to develop a healthier, balanced way of living.

Know someone who may be interested in the information covered in this newsletter? If so, SHARE! 

At Wellness Counseling Services we offer individual psychotherapy, personal coaching, couples counseling and family therapy.  We use an integrative approach, offering training in Mindfulness meditation for stress management.

We provide Neurofeedback, a non-invasive and innovative brain training program used to remedy symptoms and enhance mental performance. 
Contact us for more details. 
Wellness Counseling Services
905 Brickell Bay Drive Suite 228
The Four Ambassadors, Tower 2
Mezzanine Level
Miami, FL 33131-2923


Marianne Cortes, LMHC
Lydia C. Cerpa, LCSW
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