Questions to Sophie: Attitude and gratitude

Suzanne Kline

Q: I enjoy doing things that make me happy, but when they are over I go back to feeling blah. I wish I could feel happy more often.

A:Its easy to feel happy when youre having a good time with loved ones, playing a game, watching a good show or buying that cool item, but when the funs over the blahs return. Those experiences of happiness are subject to the pleasure associated with the event, person, or time. To retrieve happiness and live more joyfully, shift your focus to being grateful, especially during trying circumstances. In this way happiness is not fleeting, but is sustained.

Many a song has been written about the gloominess that comes with Monday mornings. The alarm goes off, you lie there, aware that time is ticking and ugh, the feeling of dread hovers over you. You know the inevitable must happen; you have to get up and go, shower, shave, make coffee, eat, face your day - whatever is in it. The reality is that in all that gloominess, there is also a lot of pleasantness to acknowledge. Look for the redeeming characteristics in your day, relationships, and situations. Its as if you were to wake up and put on gratitude glasses so that you see goodness, care, kindness and positive qualities in others that you can be grateful for. Happiness follows gratitude.

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By thinking of the good virtues in your spouse, children, boss, coworkers; and the memorable times in life, you will find much to be grateful for that you have taken for granted and left under appreciated. Wherever you can find the good, the love, the benefit, you can choose gratefulness and theres the place you will find happiness.

During those moments when we question our happiness, we can respond with thoughts of gratitude and release feelings of happiness. There is much to be happy about that is just waiting to be recognized within ourselves. So practice creating happiness by adopting an attitude of gratitude.

Disclaimer: Responses to questions are not to be construed as receiving, and are not a substitute for, psychological services, or treatment.

Questions to Sophie is a new question and answer column addressing reflections on work, family, friendship and personal issues. Send your questions to questionstosophie@gmail.com or mail them to The Hamburg Area Item office. Please submit by the editorial deadline.

The column is by Suzanne Kline a practicing psychologist born and raise in the Hamburg area.