To Be Happier, Stop Pursuing Happiness

Happiness

Pursuing happiness seems like a worthwhile goal, that is, until you consider the way it affects our perceptions of time.

Achieving a state of happiness takes time and effort that we may not have, and the pursuit may also make us feel even more pressured, and paradoxically, less happy.

Conducting four studies, Aekyoung Kim of Rutgers University in the US and Sam Maglio of the University of Toronto Scarborough in Canada investigated how the pursuit of happiness as well as the state of being happy influenced people’s perception of time.

In the studies, some participants were either instructed to list things that would make them happier or asked to try to make themselves feel happy while watching a dull movie about building bridges. Other participants were instructed to think of happiness as a goal that they had already accomplished and list things that made them happy. Afterwards, all participants reported how much free time they felt they had.

When happiness was viewed not as a goal to be pursued, but as a state to be appreciated and savored – as having been already achieved – the feeling that time is scarce was lessened (Kim & Maglio, 2018).

As Kim explains, “Time seems to vanish amid the pursuit of happiness, but only when seen as a goal requiring continued pursuit” (Kim, 2018).

“This finding adds depth to the growing body of work suggesting that the pursuit of happiness can ironically undermine well-being” (Kim, 2018).

When we believe we have achieved happiness, notes Kim, we are left with the time to appreciate it, by doings things like keeping a gratitude journal, savoring experiences, helping others and volunteering.

On the other hand, when we don’t feel like we have enough time, we may choose purchasing material items over engaging in and appreciating experiences, as this requires less time. The irony is that material items do not lead to lasting increasing in happiness.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Course:

Finding Happiness: Positive Interventions in TherapyFinding Happiness: Positive Interventions in Therapy is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that explores the concept of happiness, from common myths to the overriding factors that directly increase our feelings of contentment.

We will start with a discussion on why you, the clinician, need to know about happiness and how this information can help in your work with clients. We will then uncover mistakes we make when trying to attain happiness and look carefully at the actions we take and the beliefs that do not just obfuscate our happiness efforts, but often leave us less happy. Next, we will explore the ways in which our mindset influences our feelings of happiness and the many ways we can fundamentally change our levels of well-being, not just immediately, but for many years to come. The final section of this course contains exercises you can use with clients to cultivate and sustain a lifelong habit of happiness. Course #40-45 | 2018 | 57 pages | 25 posttest questions

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Facebook: A Threat to Relationships?

Facebook may be a threat to new relationships

While there are many things we might desire in a relationship – such as healthy communication, empathy, mutual respect and understanding, encouragement and support – excessive Facebook use is probably not one of them.

And in fact, for new couples, it can be predictive of conflict.

Surveying Facebook users ages 18 to 82 years old, researchers asked them to describe how often they used Facebook and how much, if any, conflict arose between their current or former partners as a result of Facebook use.

The results were convincing. Facebook use among couples significantly predicted Facebook-related conflict, and significantly predicted negative relationship outcomes such as cheating, breakup, and divorce (Clayton et al., 2016).

Clayton explains, “Previous research has shown that the more a person in a romantic relationship uses Facebook, the more likely they are to monitor their partner’s Facebook activity more stringently, which can lead to feelings of jealousy. Facebook-induced jealousy may lead to arguments concerning past partners. Also, our study found that excessive Facebook users are more likely to connect or reconnect with other Facebook users, including previous partners, which may lead to emotional and physical cheating” (Clayton, 2016, paragraph 4).

And this trend was particularly apparent in newer relationships. “These findings held only for couples who had been in relationships of three years or less,” notes Clayton (Clayton, 2016, paragraph 5). On the other hand, for participants who have been in relationships for longer than three years Facebook use did not appear to be related to conflict or predictive or breakups or divorce (Clayton et al., 2016).

“Facebook may be a threat to relationships that are not fully matured” (Clayton, 2016, paragraph 6).

While Facebook is a wonderful way to connect, it might not be the best thing for our new relationships. A better option, notes Clayton, is that we learn about our partners by spending time engaged with one other, communicating, and enjoying activities together – all while curtailing our Facebook use.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Finding Happiness: Positive Interventions in TherapyFinding Happiness: Positive Interventions in Therapy is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that explores the concept of happiness, from common myths to the overriding factors that directly increase our feelings of contentment.

We will start with a discussion on why you, the clinician, need to know about happiness and how this information can help in your work with clients. We will then uncover mistakes we make when trying to attain happiness and look carefully at the actions we take and the beliefs that do not just obfuscate our happiness efforts, but often leave us less happy. Next, we will explore the ways in which our mindset influences our feelings of happiness and the many ways we can fundamentally change our levels of well-being, not just immediately, but for many years to come. The final section of this course contains exercises you can use with clients to cultivate and sustain a lifelong habit of happiness. Course #40-45 | 2018 | 57 pages | 25 posttest questions

Ethics and Social MediaEthics and Social Media is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the use of Social Networking Services (SNS) on both our personal and professional lives. Is it useful or appropriate (or ethical or therapeutic) for a therapist and a client to share the kinds of information that are routinely posted on SNS like Facebook, Twitter, and others? How are psychotherapists to handle “Friending” requests from clients? What are the threats to confidentiality and therapeutic boundaries that are posed by the use of social media sites, texts, or tweets in therapist-client communication?

The purpose of this course is to offer psychotherapists the opportunity to examine their practices in regard to the use of social networking services in their professional relationships and communications. Included are ethics topics such as privacy and confidentiality, boundaries and multiple relationships, competence, the phenomenon of friending, informed consent, and record keeping. A final section offers recommendations and resources for the ethical use of social networking and the development of a practice social media policy. Course #20-75 | 2016 | 32 pages | 15 posttest questions

Codependency: Causes, Consequences and CuresCodependency: Causes, Consequences and Cures is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that offers strategies for therapists to use in working with codependent clients. The author offers in-depth and in-person strategies for therapists to use in working with clients who present with the characteristic behavior patterns of codependency. Clients are usually unaware of the underlying codependency that is often responsible for the symptoms they’re suffering. Starting with emphasis on the delicate process of building a caring therapeutic relationship with these clients, the author guides readers through the early shame-inducing parenting styles that inhibit the development of healthy self-esteem. Through personal stories and case studies, the author goes on to describe healing interventions that can help clients identify dysfunctional patterns in relationships, start leading balanced lives and connecting with others on a new and meaningful level. Evaluative questionnaires, journaling assignments and other exercises are included to help you help your clients to overcome codependency. The rewards of successfully treating codependency are great for client and clinician alike. Even though the propensity for relapse always exists, it’s unlikely that a person who has made significant progress towards overcoming this disease will lose the gains they’ve made. Course #30-83 | 2015 | 40 pages | 21 posttest questions

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Using Humor to Find Happiness

Happiness

It’s easy to get stuck on the numbers on the scale when we want to lose weight, but numbers do not tell the whole story: It’s much more than weight we need to lose.

We need to lose self-recrimination. We need to lose self-shaming. We need to lose our attachment to weight as the single measure of self-worth.

But just how do we do that?

One way, say researchers from the University of Granada Mind, Brain and Behavior Research Center, is to use a little humor.

Individuals who frequently use self-deprecating humor – aimed at gaining the approval of others through self-mockery – say Jorge Torres Marín and his team, exhibit greater levels of psychological well-being (Marín et al., 2018).

Moreover, Marín notes that a greater tendency to employ self-deprecating humor is indicative of high scores in psychological well-being dimensions such as happiness and, to a lesser extent, sociability (Marín et al., 2018).

While the effects of self-deprecating humor on well-being may differ depending on where the research takes place, and be influenced by cultural norms, Marín suggests that new studies focus on analyzing potential cultural differences in the use of this kind of humor.

The psychology of humor, however, fits within a well-founded, accurate theoretical body of knowledge that allows for different behavioral tendencies related to the everyday use of humor to be explored – such as the affiliative use of humor, which is aimed at strengthening social relationships, or self-enhancing humor, which entails maintaining a humorous outlook in potentially stressful and adverse situations.

While these types of humor have consistently been linked to indicators of positive psychological well-being such as happiness, satisfaction with life, and hope, Marín and his team maintain that their data revealed the existence of a curvilinear relationship between prosocial humor and personality dimensions such as kindness and honesty (Marín et al., 2018).

Eliminating self-defeating behaviors isn’t easy, however, the process is made much easier when we can laugh a little – at ourselves.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Finding Happiness: Positive Interventions in TherapyFinding Happiness: Positive Interventions in Therapy is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that explores the concept of happiness, from common myths to the overriding factors that directly increase our feelings of contentment. We will start with a discussion on why you, the clinician, need to know about happiness and how this information can help in your work with clients. We will then uncover mistakes we make when trying to attain happiness and look carefully at the actions we take and the beliefs that do not just obfuscate our happiness efforts, but often leave us less happy. Next, we will explore the ways in which our mindset influences our feelings of happiness and the many ways we can fundamentally change our levels of well-being, not just immediately, but for many years to come. The final section of this course contains exercises you can use with clients to cultivate and sustain a lifelong habit of happiness. Course #40-45 | 2018 | 57 pages | 25 posttest questions

Beyond Calories & Exercise: Eliminating Self-Defeating BehaviorsBeyond Calories & Exercise: Eliminating Self-Defeating Behaviors is a 5-hour online continuing education (CE) course that “walks” readers through the process of replacing their self-defeating weight issues with healthy, positive, and productive life-style behaviors. It moves beyond the “burn more calories than you consume” concept to encompass the emotional aspects of eating and of gaining and losing weight. Through 16 included exercises, you will learn how to identify your self-defeating behaviors (SDBs), analyze and understand them, and then replace them with life-giving actions that lead to permanent behavioral change. Course #50-10 | 2013 | 49 pages | 35 posttest questions

The Use of Humor in TherapyThe Use of Humor in Therapy is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that reviews the risks and benefits of using humor in therapy and the relevant historical controversies of this proposal. Should therapists and counselors use humor as a therapeutic technique? If so, should they be formally trained in those procedures before their implementation? The paucity of rigorous empirical research on the effectiveness of this form of clinical intervention is exceeded only by the absence of any training for those practitioners interested in applying humor techniques. In this course a representative sample of its many advocates’ recommendations to incorporate humor in the practice of psychological therapies is reviewed. Therapeutic humor is defined, the role of therapists’ personal qualities is discussed, and possible reasons for the profession’s past resistance to promoting humor in therapy are described. Research perspectives for the evaluation of humor training are presented with illustrative examples of important empirical questions still needing to be answered. Closeout Course #21-02 | 2015 | 24 pages | 14 posttest questions

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Uncovering Happiness

Uncovering Happiness

What does it take to truly be happy? Research has shown that although we may think money will make us happy, the effect has a ceiling. According to research done by Andrew T. Jebb, and colleagues, the ideal income point is $95,000 for life evaluation and $60,000 to $75,000 for emotional well-being (Jebb et al., 2018).

Interestingly, when comparing variation across world regions – based on data from the Gallup World Poll, which is a representative survey sample of more than 1.7 million individuals from 164 countries – Jebb and his team found that the wealthier the region, the more money was needed to reach satiation. Jebb explains, “This could be because evaluations tend to be more influenced by the standards by which individuals compare themselves to other people” (Jebb, 2018).

The study also uncovered an interesting effect: once the threshold was reached, further increases in income tended to be associated with reduced life satisfaction and a lower level of well-being (Jebb et al., 2018).

It seems that when it comes to happiness, money will only get us so far. What matters more, Jebb and his team uncovered, are higher goals, like achieving lifelong dreams, social support, and community.

Further, too much focus on money and material gains leads to engaging in social comparisons, which could, ironically, lower well-being (Jebb et al., 2018).

Pursuing happiness, another study found, also doesn’t lead to happiness. Conducting four studies in which they investigated how the pursuit of happiness as well as the state of being happy influenced people’s perception of time, Aekyoung Kim of Rutgers University in the US and Sam Maglio of the University of Toronto Scarborough in Canada found that pursuing happiness caused the participants to think of time as scarce (Kim & Maglio, 2018).

Specifically, the researchers’ found that a person’s perception of time scarcity is influenced by their pursuit of (often unattainable) happiness. The feeling that time was scarce lessened for participants who maintained that they had attained their goal of being happy to some degree.

“Time seems to vanish amid the pursuit of happiness,” explains Kim, “but only when seen as a goal requiring continued pursuit” (Kim, 2018).

On the other hand, if someone believes they have achieved happiness, they are left with the time to appreciate this, for instance by keeping a gratitude journal. Kim explains, “Because engaging in experiences and savoring the associated feelings requires more time compared with merely, for instance, buying material goods, feeling a lack of time also leads people to prefer material possessions rather than enjoying leisure experiences” (Kim, 2018).

So what’s the takeaway? Happiness can’t be bought, and it can’t be pursued too much. However, we are learning that there are several factors that do contribute strongly to happiness – such as a sense of meaning, positive relationships, feeling engaged, and achieving our goals. For clinicians, what this means is that through understanding what does and does not bring happiness, they can help their clients find happiness today and for years to come.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Course:

Finding Happiness: Positive Interventions in TherapyFinding Happiness: Positive Interventions in Therapy is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that explores the concept of happiness, from common myths to the overriding factors that directly increase our feelings of contentment.

We will start with a discussion on why you, the clinician, need to know about happiness and how this information can help in your work with clients. We will then uncover mistakes we make when trying to attain happiness and look carefully at the actions we take and the beliefs that do not just obfuscate our happiness efforts, but often leave us less happy. Next, we will explore the ways in which our mindset influences our feelings of happiness and the many ways we can fundamentally change our levels of well-being, not just immediately, but for many years to come. The final section of this course contains exercises you can use with clients to cultivate and sustain a lifelong habit of happiness. Course #40-45 | 2018 | 57 pages | 25 posttest questions

Course Directions

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Hedonic Adaptation & Happiness

Course excerpt from Finding Happiness: Positive Interventions in Therapy

Hedonic Adaptation

The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus advised, “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” Yet, for some, the pursuit of happiness can be a never ending quest. The problem is what is known as hedonic adaptation.

Heidi Grant Halvorson, PhD, writes in her article How To Keep Happiness From Fading, “the idea is that no matter how good something makes us feel (or, for the record, how bad), most of the time we drift back to where we started, emotionally-speaking. One often-cited study (link is external) famously showed that despite their initial euphoria, lottery winners were no happier than non-winners eighteen months later. The same tendency to return to “baseline” has been shown to occur after marriage, voluntary job changes, and promotions—the kinds of things we usually expect to change our happiness and well-being for the better in a permanent way.”

The story goes something like this: You buy a new wardrobe and you experience a boost in happiness. But then this minor lift wears off, and you want to buy a new watch. Yet after the new watch, the same thing happens – you quickly adjust to the new purchase and your happiness levels return right back to where they were.

For some, the purchases may be larger or smaller but the conclusion is the same – they are on a hedonic treadmill where what they have is never enough to make them happy. They simply have to keep buying more.

When Kennon Sheldon, professor of psychological sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, along with co-author Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California, Riverside, surveyed 481 people, they found that recent positive changes did initially make them happier; however, these happiness boosts didn’t last (Sheldon, 2012).

As Sheldon explains, “The majority got used to the change that had made them happy in the first place. They stopped being happy because they wanted more and raised their standards, or because they stopped having fresh positive experiences of the change. For example they stopped doing fun things with their new boyfriend and started wishing he was better looking.

A few were able to appreciate what they had and continued having new experiences. In the long term, those people tended to maintain their boost, rather than falling back where they started” (Sheldon, 2012).

The problem with many purchases, as Sheldon notes, is that they tend to just sit there – they don’t keep on providing varied positive experiences. Further, the more we rely on material purchases to make us happy, the faster our aspirations rise, like an addiction. New purchases then become nothing more than quick fixes.

And just like an addiction, there is a “let down” after those purchases –especially if there is buyer’s remorse. Sheldon also noted that the best life changes do not necessarily equate to new purchases. Although a shiny new possession can boost happiness, that purchase has to be experienced anew every day and appreciated for what it brings to have any lasting effect on happiness.

Click here to learn more.

Finding Happiness: Positive Interventions in TherapyFinding Happiness: Positive Interventions in Therapy is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that explores the concept of happiness, from common myths to the overriding factors that directly increase our feelings of contentment. We will start with a discussion on why you, the clinician, need to know about happiness and how this information can help in your work with clients. We will then uncover mistakes we make when trying to attain happiness and look carefully at the actions we take and the beliefs that do not just obfuscate our happiness efforts, but often leave us less happy. Next, we will explore the ways in which our mindset influences our feelings of happiness and the many ways we can fundamentally change our levels of well-being, not just immediately, but for many years to come. The final section of this course contains exercises you can use with clients to cultivate and sustain a lifelong habit of happiness. Course #40-45 | 2018 | 57 pages | 25 posttest questions

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Let’s Talk About Happiness

Happiness

Happiness, we can say, is elusive. The more we chase it, the more it seems to evade us. There are entire industries centered around procuring it, a society seemingly adept at supplying it (instantly), and yet, we still don’t seem to be happy enough.

But this is also why clinicians should be talking about happiness.

Several things change when we are happier. Our physical health improves (Deiner et al., 2017). We become more generous (Soyong et al., 2017). And, most interestingly, one thing that happiness doesn’t change (or isn’t changed by) is how much money we make. In a survey of 1,519 people, Paul Piff of the University of Irvine along with Jake Moskowitz asked participants a series of questions about their household income, and their tendency to experience several distinct emotions that are considered to make up the core of happiness: awe, amusement, compassion, contentment, enthusiasm, love, and pride. While people at the higher end of the socioeconomic spectrum experienced emotions that focused more on themselves and their accomplishments, those on the lower end, were more likely to experience emotions that focused on others, such as compassion and love (Piff & Moskowitz, 2017)

Concludes Piff, “These findings indicate that wealth is not unequivocally associated with happiness” (Piff, 2017).

Piff’s research uncovers just one of the many myths associated with happiness. Happiness, it turns out, is also not linked to fame, popularity, or even the decisions to marry and have children.

However, what happiness does do is improve how we function on a variety of levels. Not just do we feel better when we are happier, cognitive function, memory, creativity, problem solving, and social and emotional awareness are all enhanced by positive emotions. And all of this matters when we are facing the kinds of problems that might cause us to seek professional help. In fact, one study found that through adopting a more realistic approach to life and allowing for a broad range of emotions – one that includes anger, frustration, and sadness – people’s happiness levels improved (Tamir, et al., 2017).

Instead of trying to sidestep the many emotions that seem to contradict happiness, and looking for happiness in the externals – the new car, job, house, or partner – we’d be better off embracing all of our emotions including the idea that happiness isn’t about just putting on rose colored glasses. Happiness, rather, doesn’t ignore the problems we face. Instead, it helps us solve them and give us the necessary boost of energy to do so. It may not be that elusive after all.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Finding Happiness: Positive Interventions in TherapyFinding Happiness: Positive Interventions in Therapy is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that explores the concept of happiness, from common myths to the overriding factors that directly increase our feelings of contentment. We will start with a discussion on why you, the clinician, need to know about happiness and how this information can help in your work with clients. We will then uncover mistakes we make when trying to attain happiness and look carefully at the actions we take and the beliefs that do not just obfuscate our happiness efforts, but often leave us less happy. Next, we will explore the ways in which our mindset influences our feelings of happiness and the many ways we can fundamentally change our levels of well-being, not just immediately, but for many years to come. The final section of this course contains exercises you can use with clients to cultivate and sustain a lifelong habit of happiness. Course #40-45 | 2018 | 57 pages | 25 posttest questions

Leveraging AdversityLeveraging Adversity: Turning Setbacks into Springboards is a 6-hour online continuing education (CE) course that gives clinicians the tools they need to help their clients face adversity from a growth perspective and learn how to use setbacks to spring forward, and ignite growth. While clients can seek the help of a psychotherapist for numerous reasons, one thing that all clients face is adversity. Whether in their own lives, or within the training program itself, adversity and setbacks are inevitable. And how clients handle adversity often colors not just their ability to move past it, but also their success in therapy. Packed with the most recent data on post-traumatic growth, behavioral economics, and evolutionary psychology, this course begins with a look at just what setbacks are and how they affect us. Clinicians are then introduced to the concept of “leveraging adversity,” that is, using it to make critical reconsiderations, align values with behavior, and face challenges with a growth mindset. The course then addresses the five core strengths of leveraging adversity – gratitude, openness, personal strength (growth mindset), connection, and belief – and provides numerous exercises and skills for clinicians to use with clients. Included are 25 separate handouts clinicians can give to clients to cement core concepts from the course. Course #61-03 | 2018 | 92 pages | 35 posttest questions

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Finding Happiness – New CE Course

New Online CE Course @pdresources.org

Finding Happiness: Positive Interventions in TherapyFinding Happiness: Positive Interventions in Therapy is a new 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that explores the concept of happiness, from common myths to the overriding factors that directly increase our feelings of contentment.

The course starts with a discussion on why you, the clinician, need to know about happiness and how this information can help in your work with clients. It will then uncover mistakes we make when trying to attain happiness and look carefully at the actions we take and the beliefs that do not just obfuscate our happiness efforts, but often leave us less happy. Next, it will explore the ways in which our mindset influences our feelings of happiness and the many ways we can fundamentally change our levels of well- being, not just immediately, but for many years to come. The final section of this course contains exercises you can use with clients to cultivate and sustain a lifelong habit of happiness. Course #40-45 | 2018 | 57 pages | 25 posttest questions

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion.

Click here to learn more.

This course is sponsored by Professional Development Resources, a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!