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LDS Family Counselor: Key Steps to Finding Happiness

Two Steps to Finding Happiness 

Every day in my office I see clients who come to see me because their lives are difficult and they are hoping for solutions.  Sometimes their problems come from without and some come from within.  The one thing that is common is the problem often causes pain … emotional and sometimes physical.  And sometimes it feels like the pain will go on forever.  Through my experience as an LDS family counselor I’ve learned that there are two major steps you can take to help find happiness.

Step One:  The secret to moving past the pain is to direct our thoughts away from the present moment.  How do we avoid succumbing to the story?  We still our minds. When we’re able to do this, we cease creating stories and the suffering ends.

Step Two:  When we identify with the present moment and focus on the beauty that surrounds us, we increase happiness. There is always something beautiful to identify with.

Finding happiness is not mysterious.  It is our natural state.  When our minds are still, fully present with the here-and-now, and without the mental commentary, then we experience a peace that surpasses understanding.  If you are skeptical, give it a try.  Go outside and find a place where you’re not surrounded by many people. This may be a park, meadow, lake, or beach. Find an object to focus on, such as a flower, tree, bird, or water. For one to ten minutes, draw all of your attention onto what you’ve chosen to focus on. Listen to it, watch it, just be with it. Resist the urge to analyze it, or create a story about it. Rather still your mind and just observe. After your allotted time is up, reflect about what you just did. Were you sad? Were you depressed? Most likely, you’ll discover that if you were 100 percent present with an object, you were happy and at peace. All was (and is) well. Congratulations! You’ve just experienced a taste of happiness.

Being able to keep our minds fully present and still is a skill. It’s actually the state that we were born with. If you’ve ever observed young children, this is the state that they’re in all day long. But through conditioning and cognitive development, we’ve forgotten how to do this. With practice, however, this skill can become ours again. It’s our natural state, which is an ever-present, effortless happiness. In the end, it’s available to all who seek it.

For more information about achieving happiness contact the best LDS family counselor, Jody VanDrimmelen at 972-426-9500.  Or visit our website for some free resources and workshops.

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