group of happy people

Seeking Happiness

March 20th is International Day of Happiness This day is a global event arranged by the United Nations that “serves to remind us that being happy is a human right and worth celebrating.”

We wanted to take this moment to reflect on happiness. We’ll look at what it means, and how we can work to increase our own.

What is happiness?

Happiness is something that everyone desires. It is an emotion that can often be fleeting, but it is also something that can be cultivated and sustained over time. Many people believe that happiness comes from external factors such as:

  • wealth
  • success
  • relationships

But research shows that happiness is largely determined by internal factors such as one’s thoughts, behaviors, and mindset.

Psychology Today tells us that “Some people define happiness as a positive emotional experience. Others define happiness as having two parts called hedonia (pleasure) and eudaimonia (thriving). Outside of the scientific world, most of us define happiness as a mixture of positive emotional experiences and a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in life.”

Happiness, then, is a positive emotional state that is characterized by feelings of:

  • joy
  • contentment
  • satisfaction

It is a subjective experience and varies from person to person. While happiness can be influenced by external circumstances, such as achieving a goal or receiving a compliment, it is also influenced by internal factors such as gratitude, kindness, and mindfulness.

How can I increase my happiness?

It can sometimes be possible to boost our own happiness—though certainly conditions that we experience may get in the way.

One of the most effective ways to increase happiness levels is to practice gratitude. Gratitude is the act of recognizing and appreciating the good things in one’s life. Research has shown that practicing gratitude can increase feelings of happiness and well-being. To practice gratitude, start by making a list of things you are grateful for each day. This could include things such as your health, your family, your job, or your friends. Focusing on the positive aspects of your life can help shift your mindset towards gratitude and increase your happiness levels.

Another way to increase happiness is to engage in acts of kindness. Helping others has been shown to increase feelings of happiness and well-being. Acts of kindness could include volunteering at a local charity, helping a friend in need, or simply smiling at a stranger. When we help others, we also feel good about ourselves, which can increase our happiness levels.

Mindfulness is another powerful tool for increasing happiness. Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present and engaged in the current moment. When we practice mindfulness, we can quiet our minds and focus on the present, rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Mindfulness has been shown to decrease stress and increase feelings of happiness and well-being. To practice mindfulness, start by setting aside a few minutes each day to focus on your breath and observe your thoughts without judgment.

Finally, it is important to cultivate positive relationships with others. Positive social connections have been shown to increase happiness and well-being. To cultivate positive relationships, make an effort to spend time with friends and family, join a club or organization that interests you, or simply strike up a conversation with someone new. When we feel connected to others, we also feel happier and more fulfilled.

At Galen Hope, we believe strongly in each of these methods for elevating happiness. So much so, that echoes of each of them can be found in our 4 pillars of treatment:

  • Community
  • Belonging
  • Meaning
  • Social responsibility

We strive, every day, to help our clients find happiness.


Built on the principles of assertive community treatment, Galen Hope is an eating disorder and mental health treatment center offering individualized treatment options that include Intensive Outpatient (IOP), supported housing, and Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP). As a “Community of Integrated Wellness,” we pride ourselves in fostering a thoughtful and meaningful care experience that can guide our clients on their road to recovery and increased quality of life, regardless of diagnosis. Galen Hope currently offers separate, age-specific programming for adolescents ages 12-17 and adults 18 and up, of all genders.

To learn more, or to join our community for integrated wellness, please contact us today.

Belong. Heal. Grow.

Scroll to Top