Reflection of happiness
Recently a fellow colleague helped me out with my BACP accreditation by taking the time to read it and provide some critical feedback. I did not know this person very well but was grateful and happy that they had given me their time. When I found out that I had been awarded my BACP accreditation (after releasing a big happy scream) my first thought was that I must let the helpful counsellor know that I had gained my accreditation but I also wanted to share my happiness and have the opportunity to thank him properly.
Giving makes you feel happy
I sent him a card with a small note in it and he responded by telling me how happy it had made him feel and that he would put it into his warm ‘fuzzy’ box. This made me smile. I realised that this small gesture on my part let him know that his help was appreciated and it had made him feel happy. It also made me think about my own happiness box and what I had inside mine.
How my happiness box started
I started my happiness box about just over a decade ago whilst I was studying for my counselling course. I was going through a difficult time and someone wrote me a card telling me about my good points. I was touched by this and knew I wanted to keep it so I put it in box. I soon started putting small things in it that made me happy and were meaningful to me. For example, my letter informing me I had passed my course, positive feedback from a staff appraisal and a dried flower from my husband. Since this date, when I am feeling low, let down by people or lost, I delve into this box and I have found it always bring a smile to my face. It was certainly a great crutch for me whilst my children were babies and I was adapting to being a full time Mum. It gave me hope and made me thankful for being a Mum.
Using the box with my clients
I have used my own experience with my clients. Clients who have low self-esteem often do not believe in themselves and can feel depressed. I help them build up their self-esteem by creating their own happiness box. I start by asking them to find items that they link with their own happiness or makes them feel valued. Often items will involve photos of family and friends or things, times when they have helped people or things that inspire them. These items range from photos, letters, quotes, drawings. The list is endless. It all has to be personal to them and must be things that help build their elf-esteem and self-actualisation as well as give them hope and inspiration.
Happiness box and online counselling
I have developed this idea with a couple of my online counselling clients. They have created a personal ‘blog and will write about any happy thoughts or memories they have or write quotes that inspire them or write poems or post photos or scan in letters they have received. This helps them build up a happy picture of themselves which they can read when they feel lost or unhappy. All the blog posts have been written with privacy settings allowing only them to view them.
Do you have a happiness box or fuzzy box? If not, why not start one today. Start the path to finding your own happiness!