How to be happy by acknowledging stresses and savouring joy

With the pandemic still ongoing and horrifying news about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine making headlines everyday, it may be hard to think about happiness right now.

But according to ‘Happiness Researcher’ Dr. Gillian Mandich, it is still possible to cultivate happiness in our daily lives, and part of doing so is acknowledging bad feelings and occurrences.

“As a happiness researcher, one of the things I know is that we can’t be happy all the time,” Mandich told CTV’s Your Morning on Thursday. “And it’s very normal to experience fear and anxiety right now.”

“It’s not butterflies and rainbows right now, and we can’t pretend that it is, because when we do that, it actually makes us feel worse.”

She said it’s key not to tie happiness to a specific goal, but to see where one can create happiness in our daily lives.

“We often think, ‘I will be happy when…’ Fill in the blank, right?” she said. “But what we know from research is that happiness is not a destination. It’s not something we arrive at one day. Happiness is a practice.”

Her three steps to creating more happiness in your daily life are to find things to savour in the moment, declutter your space whenever possible, and don’t pretend that everything is okay.

“Part of the silver lining of the pandemic is that it’s opened the door to conversations where we’re not just saying to people, ‘Hey, how are you, I’m fine,” Mandich said. “We’re starting to label and talk about how we’re feeling, and this is a really key thing.”

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