St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church - Naperville, IL

The Art of Happiness

From Behavioral Health Team:

What is the key to happiness?

Self-help books might say a combination of diet and exercise. Hollywood might tell you fame and beauty. The corporate world might say wealth and the corner office. But the key is actually practicing happiness, just like you might practice a sport or an instrument. You can train your mind, brain and spirit to be happy in positive situations, just like you use coping skills in difficult situations.

Stop and Savor

If you want to be happy, then savoring is the way to get there, according to Fred Bryant, a psychology professor who has been studying happiness for 38 years. His definition for savoring: The capacity that humans have to notice, focus on and appreciate positive experiences —such as activities or moments in time where there are good feelings involved.

There is no shortage of research and information on how to deal with depression, trauma and other difficult circumstances in life, but much less on the positive experiences in life, whether it is a beautiful sunset, a promotion at work or the birth of a child.

Fred Bryant’s tips for savoring

  • Notice what’s around you, and take mental photographs so that you can revisit the experience
  • Share experiences with others. They can often point out things you have overlooked, and vice versa, helping each of you to savor the experience even more.
  • Enjoy experiences as they are, rather than thinking about what should have been.
  • Make time to savor, just like you would with any other item on your to do list. 
  • Don’t wait for something good to happen: Look at what is already in your life and find something to savor

Source: Loyola University Chicago

The Art of Happiness by Maura Sullivan Hill