The Secret of Happiness
Simple steps on how to be a HAPPY and FUNCTIONAL human being
by Gabriella Philippou,Psychotherapist – Counsellor, Trainer for Personal, Professional and Business Development
“One should have one thing: either a soul which is by its very nature happy or a soul which is made happy by work, love, art and knowledge”
Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844 – 1900, German philosopher
The modern way of life, with its intense rhythms and its increased demands, causes stress
According to World Health Organisa4on sta4s4cs for the year 2015, on our planet, the total number of people experiencing anxiety disorders was 264 million – a significant increase of 14.9% compared to 2005. This is aJributable to both popula4on growth and longer life span. However, we can get rid of or reduce stress and be happy and func4onal people. The fundamental pillar of this posi4ve state is love for ourselves as well as self-esteem and confidence-building. We must also be able to sa4sfy our basic needs, such as that of survival, of security, of social acceptance and that of self-actualisa4on. Addi4onally, our psychology and, by extension, our thoughts, must be mainly posi4ve.
An important chapter is our rela7onship with other people, whether they are members of our family or our colleagues
This rela4onship needs to be properly cared for in the principles of proper communica4on, mutual apprecia4on and mutual understanding. A successful rela4onship with other people offers us many benefits and great pleasure. Correct communica4on means not putting others over ourselves, which will make us feel inferior. On the other hand, the opposite should not be the case. To feel superior to others, to defend our own rights by sacrificing the rights of others. The correct ideal communica4on is based on equality.
Loving ourselves naturally requires self-care
There are many things we can do to take care of ourselves, star4ng with a proper and balanced diet as well as adequate sleep. Maintaining our health plays a cataly4c role. This means, in addi4on to proper nutri4on, good sleep and physical exercise, which contributes greatly to our wellbeing, at the same 4me, simple things, such as geNng dressed in our favourite colours, wearing our favourite fragrance or our favouritecologne give us a nice and pleasant feeling and elevate our mood. Proper use of make-up and accessories in women highlight the style of dressing and enhance the self-image. We need to know ourselves – self-awareness helps us to develop and self-improve. For example, we have to pay aJen4on to our biological rhythms. So, let’s find out when we are more crea4ve and efficient. If we are early in the morning, let’s get up early and start work. On the other hand, if we are more efficient in the evening, especially for work that needs concentra4on and wri4ng, then let’s use the hours of the morning differently. Respect for our body means that it is our duty to hear the body when it tells us, for example, that we have to rest.
We strive for self-improvement and growth, not only on a personal, but also, on a professional level – we set achievable goals
It is good to write these goals down, so there is clarity about what we are aiming for exactly. We break down these targets to smaller ones. Achieving these goals means, among other things, that we have to adopt a programme of proper 4me management. In order to have the maximum benefit from the right exploita4on of our 4me, we also have to put order in our physical place whatever it might be. We monitor the progress we are making towards the achievement of our goals. Some4mes the condi4ons of life are such that they require both flexibility and a review of our goals. We move forward with op4mism, without getting disappointed and without giving up.
We must not be perfectionists
It does not maJer, if we make mistakes. We can learn a lot from our mistakes. It is unfair for us to expect to be perfect, simply because such a situa4on does not exist. On the contrary, what we need to strive for is our con4nued evolu4on both on a personal and professional level. Ascertaining our development and progress will really sa4sfy us. We must stop cri4cising ourselves. If we say to ourselves that we are OK, no maJer what happens, then we can easily make changes in our lives. However, if we consider ourselves bad, then we shall find things very difficult. Furthermore, we will be con4nually filled with nega4ve energy. We will be unhappy.It is a prime need to develop our self-esteem as well as to cul4vate our belief in our worth. We must stop frightening ourselves. Many of us torture ourselves with terrifying thoughts and make our lives a nightmare. We start, for example, with a small problem and turn it into a huge one. It is terrible to live in this way, always wai4ng for the worst things to happen in their life. With ourselves, we must be tender, affec4onate and pa4ent. Pa4ence is a very important tool of life. Most of us suffer from the expecta4on of immediate sa4sfac4on. We have no pa4ence to wait. We must learn to treat our mind with kindness. We must not hate ourselves when we experience nega4ve thoughts. We must face our thoughts with sympathy, with the convic4on that our thoughts strengthen us rather than exhaust us.
An important chapter is our finances
We can only put our finances in order by making an ini4al planning of revenues and expenses at the beginning of the year. This programming must be based onour real needs and must always make some provision in case something unexpected happens. In this way, we can stand firmly on our feet and we will not worry about late payments, for example. In conclusion, we do not live above our financial capabili4es because, if we do, it is as if we have mined the ground on which we move. Undoubtedly, such a situa4on will cause us a lot of anxiety.
Joy is health
Clinical research supports that wealth is not equated with joy. Let us try to enjoy life, small and simple things. Nature, a sunset. A coffee with beloved friends. It is up to us to change our way of thinking.
Gabriella Philippou is a Psychotherapist, Counsellor, Educa4on and Voca4onal and Career Counsellor. She is very ac4ve with Experien4al Workshops Facilitator, Support Groups Facilitator, Trainer for Programmes for Personal Development and Self-Knowledge as well as Programmes for Professional and Business Development.
Since 2005, she has been working with children, teenagers, adults, couples, families and the elderly, offering Psychotherapy, Counseling, Coaching, Empowerment. Furthermore, she offers a wide range of services to organisations, foundations and companies concerning the continued professional and personal development of their staff which enhances, not only their inter-personal relationships, but also, maximises their productivity and efficiency.
A: 3 Parnithos Street, Aglantzia, 2102 Nicosia, Cyprus