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Published:December 5th, 2005 04:20 EST
Workshop's lesson: Being happy is a choice

Workshop's lesson: Being happy is a choice

By Matthew Kent

Being happy is a choice that comes from within all individuals.

"Fifty percent of happiness comes from DNA, and the other 50 percent is us choosing to be happy," said Cara Pschirrer, of the Counseling Center. Pschirrer led a workshop Wednesday titled "Choosing to be Happy."

About 45 people attended the workshop Wednesday with hope of finding choices that will make their lives happier.

She listed nine different choices people can make to make their lives happier.

"I see happiness as a recipe and the nine choices as the ingredients," Pschirrer said. The first choice Pschirrer mentioned was intention.

"You have to have a mindset in order to be happy -- this is a learned behavior," she said.

Accountability means assuming full responsibility for actions, thoughts, feelings and refusal to blame others.

"It is a lot easier to blame others than take the blame ourselves -- we must take full accountability for ourselves," Pschirrer said.

She also said being able to identify what makes a person happy is important.

"Standing up for yourself and doing anything that makes you happy is the key."

Pschirrer also said repressing problems doesn`t help.

"When we repress a problem, it doesn`t go away, and it will hold you back," Pschirrer said. "You can`t turn anything into meaningful until you deal with bad emotions."

People must have options in order to be open to new possibilities, Pschirrer said.

"You have to be flexible and have options," Pschirrer said.

Another element in being happy is being appreciative.

"We need to appreciate our qualities, especially living in the U.S. being thankful for what we have," Pschirrer said.

Sharing emotions and listening with friends and family also is essential to being happy.