Haley Foster, MA, LPC
It’s about Being Happy
The other day a client stated she was completely unhappy and had no idea why. She complained that her neighbors were loud, her daughter’s life was a mess, and her friends were stupid. When talking with her, I realized she was completely unaware that she plays a major role in her own happiness.
She chose not to tolerate any of the behavior of the people around her. She looked for things to annoy her, focused on them then looked for people to whom she could complain.
The Oxford American Dictionary defines tolerance as a willingness or ability to tolerate a person or thing. Tolerance is related to being happy, and the key word is willingness. If you sit home and wait for your neighbors to make noise, you’re going to hear them. If you analyze your friend’s behavior and then complain about it, it’s going to make you nuts. If you magnify the things you can’t tolerate by focusing on them and talking about them, you’re working on being unhappy.
Learning tolerance takes practice, real practice. The first step is deciding you don’t want to be unhappy anymore. Negative thoughts and conversations zaps energy from you and sucks positive energy from others around you. Happiness gives energy to you and those around you.
Second, check your thinking. When you’re feeling angry or unhappy thoughts look for the source and choose to focus on something else.
Next, find something else to do, go for a walk, join clubs, read, anything that will take your mind off the things that are making you unhappy. Begin noticing things that you like about people, Jane’s a name dropper, but she also volunteers three times a week. Your neighbors are noisy but they love to play card games.
Changing thought patterns takes practice, if you would like additional support making this or other important changes in your life call Louann Hillesland at Counseling Connection 303-721-0005. See Home page for initial consultation 50% off coupon.