One common feature amongst us as human beings is the desire to be happy. Many search for happiness in all sorts of ways. Psychology researchers have attempted to figure out what really makes people happy.
Some researchers believe that sources of happiness are 50% genetic, 40% within our power to change, and 10% affected by life circumstances. Sometimes we work with students who blame the environment for their unhappiness despite a life long pattern of previous unhappiness. Most of our students come to the realization that
does not make them unhappy. Typically we see a gradual shift in personal
ownership as our students figure out how to be genuinely happy. Logan River Academy
One of our theories at
is that happiness is connected to living a principles based lifestyle.
We use this model as our major theory of change. We focus on: Honesty, Respect,
Accountability, Fairness, and Caring. We believe that as our students
internalize these principles and live them more fully, they are much more
likely to be happier people. Logan
Happiness also has much to do with perspective. I attended a workshop many years ago where the instructor taught us a basic formula: E + R = O (Event + Response = Outcome). Events are often not under out control. How we respond to events in our lives directly affects what kinds of outcomes we are getting, including our happiness level. We are convinced that challenging negative thoughts and replacing them with more neutral or positive thoughts can bring wonderful results with one’s level of happiness. This is a skill that takes practice and awareness. Our perspective can be the single most influential determinant of our level of happiness.
Another key element to happiness in our opinion is when one lives in accordance with his/her defined value system. If this is not happening, we see unbalance, lack of life symmetry, and inner conflict. Identifying one’s value system and living according is key!
Lastly, we believe being able to find humor in day to day life is essential for happiness. Learning to laugh at ourselves and our mistakes helps. Otherwise, we may constantly feel insecure or under the spotlight. It’s important to slow down, pause, and laugh each day.
Matt Erickson, LCSW, Clinical Director