5 Ground Rules for Living a Happy Life

Nearly seven percent of all American adults suffer from major depressive disorder, but even those without a diagnosable condition can fall into a slump of sadness now and then. With these quick tips, you can elevate your daily mood and live a happier life.

Validate others.

Everyone needs to be heard, listened to, and acknowledged. A common problem among those suffering from depression or any mental illness is that they live in an invalidating environment. An invalidating environment can range from one of dismissal and neglect to one of trauma and abuse. It’s important to note that by validating, you are not necessarily agreeing; you are simply hearing and acknowledging another’s thoughts and feelings. Take a moment just to listen.

Validate yourself.

Recognize and be mindful of what you do and how you feel, and allow yourself to have those feelings without guilt or self-loathing. Give equal attention to positive feelings and actions. Praise and reward yourself, and treat yourself with kindness and respect.

Be assertive; Use “I” and “me” language.

Express yourself from the “I” perspective. This shift in language can make all the difference in having your feelings heard and validated. For example, instead of saying “YOU hurt me,” try “I feel hurt when you don’t hear what I’m saying.” Not only does this help you to identify the causes of your feelings, but it also feels less like an accusation to the person receiving the statement. Be assertive, not aggressive.

Be thankful.

Appreciating the good in your life can be difficult, especially amidst negative experiences, circumstances, and feelings. However, when you begin to identify the little moments of positivity in your life, the world begins to look a little brighter. Maybe you hit less traffic this morning than others or your favorite song came on the radio. Literally count your blessings. Make a list or say them aloud over and over. As you begin to do this, you’ll find your list growing more quickly than you thought.

Contribute to the happiness of others.

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we simply cannot make ourselves happy. Perhaps it feels like the world is working against us, and nothing is going right. In moments such as these, try to improve the lives of others. Volunteer your time at a nursing home or animal shelter, or simply be there for a friend or family member in need. Hold the door open for people at work, or smile and bid strangers a good day. Through these little acts of kindness, you may incite happiness in others, perhaps others who are going through a difficult time like you. And, through bettering the lives of those around you, you’ll begin to feel better yourself.

Adult Mental Health Services in NJ

GenPsych offers a variety of mental health programs for adults suffering from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders, and more. Our full range of therapeutic services is available to participants of both our Partial Care and Intensive Outpatient programs, and includes individual therapy, group therapy, medication counseling, ongoing family consultations, and substance abuse counseling. We offer skill groups using dialectical behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and relapse prevention. Our multi-disciplinary approach offers a comprehensive treatment planning system that will help you regain control of your life and succeed in your future goals.

For more information on GenPsych’s Adult Psychiatric Programs, visit our website or call 1-855-436-7792 to schedule an appointment.


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