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Building Happiness (Exercises)

Happiness takes work. Changes in life circumstances like a promotion or a new relationship might result in a temporary happiness boost, but before long the excitement levels off.

The Building Happiness (Exercises) worksheet includes a list of activities that have been found to help build sustained happiness, when practiced regularly. The exercises that are described include gratitudes, acts of kindness, physical exercise, meditation, positive journaling, and fostering relationships. Discuss these exercises with your client, practice them in session, and create a plan to practice a little bit every day.

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1. Emmons, R. A., & Mishra, A. (2011). Why gratitude enhances well-being: What we know, what we need to know. Designing positive psychology: Taking stock and moving forward, 248-262.

2. Kabat-Zinn, J. (1995). Mindfulness meditation. New York, NY: Nightingale-Conant Corporation.

3. Seligman, M. E., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2014). Positive psychology: An introduction. In Flow and the foundations of positive psychology (pp. 279-298). Springer, Dordrecht.

4. Stathopoulou, G., Powers, M. B., Berry, A. C., Smits, J. A., & Otto, M. W. (2006). Exercise interventions for mental health: a quantitative and qualitative review. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 13(2), 179-193.

5. Stress management: How to strengthen your social support network. (n.d.). Retrieved January 18, 2019, from

6. Warner, R. M., & Vroman, K. G. (2011). Happiness inducing behaviors in everyday life: An empirical assessment of “the how of happiness”. Journal of Happiness Studies, 12(6), 1063-1082.

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