What DOES Happiness MEAN To You?
On this website, you can practice a bunch of activities to increase your happiness. But what about the negative emotions that you experience. Does increasing happiness just make negative emotions go away?
Sometimes, but not always.
Unfortunately, for many of us, our brains are already wired in ways that make it easier to generate negative emotions. So, in addition to creating new neural pathways that strengthen experience of positive emotion, you likely also need to work on stopping the unhealthy processes that generate negative emotions. By doing so, you make our attempts to increase happiness more successful.
Activity: Unhealthy emotional processing
In this activity, you'll learn about emotional processes that generate negative emotions. For each process, rate how often you engage in it. Then try to recall a time when you engaged in it. Finally, come up with an action plan for how to stop the process.
You could have a word you say when you notice you are having unhealthy thoughts that reminds you to change your thinking. Or, you could have an activity you engage in. For example, when I find myself feeling emotionally overwhelmed, I go for a run. If I am not able to go for a run, I excuse myself to go the restroom and take a few deep breaths.
Everyone is different. So, try to think of what might work for you, and be willing to try different approaches until you find one that works.