What is happiness anyway?
I ask clients what they are hoping to achieve in therapy. Inevitably, many respond with "I just want to be happy." This, in and of itself, is a perfectly fine thing to want. However, it is vague. Happiness is such a superfluous and subjective word and state of being. I am perfectly happy sitting at my vanity perfecting a bold winged liner while passively listening to Gilmore Girls playing through in the background.
I usually assume this is not the happiness a client is searching for. With that, I think it's important to operationalize happiness: what does it mean to YOU? Many often wonder if they can experience happiness, given their struggles with mental health concerns. Realistically, you may never completely be anxiety free, as anxiety is a necessary bodily response that signals our defenses and protective behaviors; but you can definitely learn to better manage and respond to your anxious symptoms. You might even continue to experience depressive episodes. But you can learn to identify triggers and engage in behaviors and activities that will better manage those episodes. I say this to communicate that you can have these or other mental health conditions and still be happy. They are not mutually exclusive. One can exist with the other. There are tons of happy anxious, depressed, insert-other-diagnoses-here people roaming about. The key is figuring out what happiness looks like and means to you. So, tell me what it means for you to be happy...
If you are struggling to find an answer, reach out to Bledman Psychological Services, LLC and we will help you figure it out.