Jar of Happiness

As you are faced with a challenge in life, it can be hard to step away from the darkness to do something to bring light in. After all, how can you be happy when faced with unpleasant news or are suffering with a mood disorder, such as depression or anxiety? While it may be comforting to crawl under a blanket and cry or to spend time ruminating, neither of these will benefit your emotional health. What kind of tools do you have in your toolbox to bring light into your life? What may help you get out of the negative state is to allow yourself to be happy with the help of the “Jar of Happiness.” This is a simple jar that you can fill with ideas of activities and uplifting quotes that can bring you joy. This jar can help bring happiness into your life when you feel any of the following difficult feelings including: depression, frustration, anxiety, nervousness, stress, or unworthiness. Remember, it’s ok to be happy while you are going through a crisis. The crisis will pass.

Supplies:
• Glass or plastic Jar
• Colored Paper or white paper
• Pens or markers
• Decorative supplies (optional opportunity to get creative!)

Instructions:
1. Cut strips of paper. If you use colored paper, you can color code the activities and quotes.
2. Decide which categories you’d like. I’ve included some ideas below. Feel free to create your own ideas!

Category ideas:
• Yellow: outdoor activities

  • Playing a sport
  • Walking/jogging/running
  • Go to the a zoo or museum
  • Star or cloud gaze

• Purple: relaxation or spa activities

  • Take a relaxing bubble bath
  • Listen to relaxing music
  • Paint nails
  • Get a massage
  • Paint or draw

• Orange: indoor activities

  • Watch a funny movie
  • Learn something new
  • Read
  • De-clutter

• Blue: Social/familial activities

  • Play a board game
  • Go to the movies
  • Play a sport
  • Have dinner with a friend or family member

• White: Quotes

  • Search for quotes online
  • As friends for quote ideas

3. Write down your ideas on the strips of paper. Fold them, and then place them in the jar.
4. Get crafty and creative! Add some ribbon or a label on your “Jar of Happiness.”
5. Practice happiness! The jar will be there for you when you need it. Place it in your room to remind you of your mission to allow more happiness into your life. 🙂

By: Lolita Aguiñaga, LCSW

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