Board Certified Counselor
For divorced dads, what better way than the holiday season to take time and reflect about all of the things that we are grateful for?
Of course, we don’t need a holiday reminding us to be thankful but it sure is a great excuse to take some time to smell the roses. It is when we are able to show gratitude that we find ourselves feeling a little happier.
It is so easy during difficult times, to focus on what is missing from one’s life. There is a major difference between happy and unhappy people.
Those that would describe themselves as being happy are usually able to appreciate the simpler things in life such as a smile, a pleasant greeting, or helping a neighbor. Those that are unhappy typically spend less time appreciating the things that they have and are focused more on what is missing.
Most of us will go through life encountering challenges and struggles such as divorce, job loss, illness, death of a loved one, and the list could go on. Even if we are not going through a major life struggle per se then we certainly could get huffy about a rainy day, heavy traffic, or other petty things.
Our energy can be completely consumed by things that are really irrelevant in the big picture of life. The good news is that you can focus your energy on the result that you want to see produced.
It isn’t a coincidence that those that have a positive, gracious attitude are happier and healthier. For example, if I am a manager and I want to motivate my staff, wouldn’t the most logical thing to do would be to model myself as being a motivated, energetic person? How could I possibly expect my staff to be excited and enthusiastic if I myself am not?
This same scenario works in everyday life. Sure it is inevitable that you will come across the occasional person that doesn’t respond to your energy but for the most part people will indeed give you back the same energy that you give off.
There is a famous expression that says laughter is contagious. Laughter is contagious as are tears so being surrounded with other positive people who have a pleasant approach to life and difficult situations will help foster your need for happiness.
Things happen to all of us in life, however it is our reaction to the situations that will dictate the course of our lives. We are in the driver seat and in control of embracing all of the good things in store for us.
It is never easy to let go of the past, especially when so much hurt has been involved. It is at the moment when forgiveness takes place, and an appreciation for all of the wonderful things life has to offer, when one will find “happiness” over and over again.
“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.” -Cicero
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Lisa Brown, MA, LPC, NCC, is a practicing therapist who helps people overcome life transitions specifically related to loss. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Lisa Brown.