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How do I start being happier?

How do I start being happier?

Often life can seem overwhelming and negative thoughts and feelings can trouble our everyday lives. Talking to a depression counsellor can help you work through these difficult times and work towards a happier life.

1. You can start with a smile – it is true! When you smile your brain releases dopamine, endorphins and serotonin, which help reduce feelings of anxiety and increase feelings of happiness. Remember smiling also makes you more attractive. Smile – it’s a win-win!

2. You can learn to build happiness into your life. Just think of how plants grow, blossom and bloom when they are taken care of, you can do the same with your happiness. Tend it carefully, enjoy the happy feelings as they flourish and grow within you, becoming stronger each day. Your brain is capable of making new pathways, and new ways of being and thinking, it’s really quite simple.

3. You can start being happier, remember life’s experiences can bring great joy and also great pain, a bit like a beautiful sunny day can be followed by dark clouds and rain. But once the rain has passed, the clouds lift and the sun comes out again. Counselling teaches you to allow yourself to enjoy happiness and contentment.

To be happy make sure you:

  • Choose happy and positive friends.
  • Only use kind words and actions.
  • Avoid unkind gossip and rumour.
  • Notice how good you feel when you’re helpful.
  • Always say “thank you” when someone has been helpful to you.
  • It is true that we get a feel-good buzz when we do nice things for one another.
  • Laugh a lot – laughing is such a great feeling, and so infectious.
  • Get involved in what is happening around you, not what is happing within you.
  • Take up a new interest, language, activity, sport, or something you enjoy and can share with other like-minded people.


As the late, great Spike Milligan once wrote:

Smiling is infectious
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.

5. Depression often begins in childhood, even in babyhood. If you have a parent who is depressed you “learn to be depressed”. You adapt to please the adults who care for you, it’s survival but doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Counselling offers the opportunity for you to decide who and how you are and helps you choose the tools to make you happy.

6. Start being happier today as you learn to explore your old depressive habits, understand, accept and let go of those negative traits while discovering new, happy, contented ways of being. Counselling offers a safe place for your journey to the new you. A happy and confident you.

7. Life can be unbearably painful and cruel at times, and happiness can seem out of reach. Counselling helps you understand, accept and let go of the pain, enabling you to move into and appreciate the happiness and joy you deserve.

8. Learn to view your life in a positive way, to see the happiness and joy, the love and kindness, and the sunny days as you learn to always see the positive side of everything in your life. Notice how much happier your mood is as the old depression fades into the background.

9. You can start feeling happier by having a positive daily routine. Get out of bed on time, brush your teeth, shower and dress, then have breakfast and a drink. Get to work on time, and be happy and cheerful around your colleagues. Notice how much happier you feel when you are being efficient and effective.

10. Start being happier by choosing a healthy lifestyle. Avoid or reduce alcohol as it will make you tired, depressed and anxious. Eat healthily, exercise, and take up a hobby/interest. Only mix with people who are interested in life and the world. Avoid social media and selfies – your eyes are designed to look out at what is around you, not back at yourself. Live, laugh and love.

Let’s talk about it

If you are feeling unhappy or suffering from depression, Diana Parkinson can help through talking therapies. Diana is an experienced counsellor ready to listen and work with you to help improve your happiness.

Get in touch