Four Ways to Take Your Happiness to the Next Level

Four Ways to Take Your Happiness to the Next Level

I’ve no doubt we can all become happier.

I’ve also no doubt that it’s easier said than done.

And further, I’ve even less doubt that if you’re reading this you’ve almost certainly tried most, if not all, of the more common happiness boosting strategies.

That’s OK. Keep trying. But if you want to dial up your happiness, with something a little bit different, then check out this article by Susan Krauss Whitbourne via Psychology Today ….


  • People often restrict their ability to get the most out of even the most positive experiences in life.
  • New research tests a four-step model for learning how to change the way you process events that have the potential to make you happier.
  • Try going through the four steps of experiencing, enriching, absorbing, and maximizing the next time something good happens to you.

Being able to take advantage of positive life experiences isn’t always as easy as it may seem. How many times have you looked forward to an upcoming event that was 100 percent guaranteed to be fun only to find that once at that event, you couldn’t stop thinking about an unpleasant work task awaiting you the next day? For example, perhaps you’ve finally managed (pandemic and all) to get tickets for a movie whose release you’ve been eagerly awaiting for months.

One hour into the action, though, your mind wanders to that next day’s project. The dreaded future doesn’t have to be work-related; it could be any situation other than the one you’re in that makes you anxious and distressed. Making matters worse, you become angry with yourself for letting those thoughts creep into your mind, further detracting from your emotional equanimity.

Even if you’re not given to chronic fretting, it’s possible to drift away from a pleasant experience by being unable to jump deeply enough into it. Once the drifting begins, it may seem almost impossible to stop. Or is it?

According to University of California Berkeley’s Rick Hanson and colleagues (2021), you can learn new ways to activate your feelings of engagement in a positive experience. Not only can these feelings of engagement make you feel good, Hanson et al. proposed, but they can also help you acquire the psychological resources to allow you to “heighten the internalization of specific beneficial experiences many times a day.”

The idea behind the psychological resources model is that by learning to engage in a positive experience, you develop a greater sense of resilience and self-worth. These feelings help to create an “upward spiral” in which good times build on themselves, further enhancing your happiness. Just as importantly, even when “external supports and familiar activities are less available,” such as those restrictions in effect during the COVID pandemic, you “are left internally with whatever psychological resources” you’ve managed to acquire.

The Four-Step “HEAL” Framework for Building Psychological Resources

Countering the idea that people are either born optimistic or they’re not, the Cal-Berkeley research team believed that it’s possible to help strengthen people’s ability to get the most out of positive experiences through training.

Thus, in a 2013 book, Hanson developed what he called the “HEAL” framework, an approach that systematically gathers “individual engagement” factors already existing in many forms of psychotherapy and personal growth programs that can help people to become active agents in building “durable inner resources.”

… keep reading the full & original article HERE