Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence”


Nothing, I mean NOTHING could make me happier than being invited to become part of Psychology Today's expert contributor panel. When I was asked what I would like my blog's "theme" to be, I could think of none other than the subject of happiness. It is what we all want at the end of the day. In fact, if you keep asking "why," to many of the activities you are engaging in today- it is probably because at some point in time you thought they would make you happier.

So to kick off my inaugural blog- I thought I'd give a little context on the subject...

The Wizard of Oz so poignantly demonstrated that although we go searching for happiness through others, geographical cures, material possessions- the happiness that we are looking for and can truly depend on, is what is on the inside. How can we expect to depend on something that is constantly changing (the external, or our environment)?

“There’s no place like home.” -Dorothy (Wizard of Oz)

I have devoted most of my studies to what key factors go in to making the human mind happy. During my studies, I developed a seven factor acronym for this: B.A.L.A.N.C.E which stands for the components I have found to be the most effective in leading us to authentic happiness and fulfillment. If you are interested, you can read more about it in my book- Happiness in B.A.L.A.N.C.E.

This year I made a resolution to do more "want-to's," than "have-to's," and I can confidently say it has been the single most life changing resolution I've made to date. Whenever I get mired in the hamster wheel of the week, my new ritual is just to remember that promise I made to myself seven months ago and release much of the noise I have created in that moment.

Today, think about what traditions or rituals you have in your day that bring you happiness. If you don’t have any, what routines might you bring into your day to remind you that today is a clean slate and to choose fun?

"Happiness and Misery are but a daily choice…the effort is the same." - Anon

“The reality of life is it is nor heaven or hell, but only as one imagines it.” -Shakespeare

About the Author

Colleen Long Psy.D.

Colleen Long, Psy.D.,is a Los Angeles based licensed clinical psychologist, couples therapist, media consultant, and author of the book Happiness in B.A.L.A.N.C.E.

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