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Natural Awakenings Fairfield & Southern Litchfield Counties

The Process of Choosing Happiness

Apr 30, 2023 02:00PM ● By Andrea Garin Kopilak
According to Lord Richard Layard and the Gallup World Poll, “stress has doubled in the world.” Knowing what we do about stress and the implications for our health and well-being, as a society, what other indicators do we need to make happiness and well-being a priority for ourselves, our loved ones, our communities and for the entire world? Imagine the possibilities of making happiness and well-being a priority in the world.

Several weeks ago, I left the World Happiness Summit (, 
in Lake Como, Italy, with new information, new insights, new connections, wonderful memories, the image below and a sweatshirt that reads, “I choose happiness.”

 On the plane ride home, I thought about what it means for me to choose happiness and wrote down some reflections.

“Happiness is a process”, according to Robert Biswas-Diener, a well-being researcher who spoke at the World Happiness Summit. 

For me, choosing happiness is a process of:
• Building self-awareness through a) connecting with myself and others, and b) asking “how do I feel, and what do I need?” (credit to Carol Solomon), then c) listening to my truth.
• Practicing reflection by making the time to a) be curious about why I feel and need something, b) be curious about my actions, c) explore the possibilities of what may be underneath them and what is coming up for me, and d) asking myself if my behavior is aligned with my values and who I want to be.
• Learning by a) noting the takeaways from my reflection, and b) trying to apply the new insights gained, then c) questioning what strengths I need to leverage in order to do something different.
• Action by noting a) what I want to do differently and b) cultivating the cour- age and support needed to trust myself, c) follow through and take small steps in the direction I choose, and d) make people a priority.
• Keeping hope, belief and connection to myself, others and nature alive so that I stay inspired and can choose to start this process again and again.

This process is alive, it takes time, it gets adjusted. Sometimes, life gets in the way. Often, it is so hard to face the realizations. Most of the time, I try to keep learning and keep growing. I try to show up as the person I want to be in each situation. I try to choose this process to help me.
What does it look like for you? For me, when I choose to acknowledge and celebrate the progress I made, choosing to go through the process looks like the smiling “happy” you think of when you hear the word. Other times, it is just a deep feeling of knowing I am resilient, strong and right where I am supposed to be.

What does your process for happiness look like? One small thing we can do to make happiness and well-being a priority is to show up, try it and then try again when we are ready. Are you in?

Andrea Garin Kopilak is the founder of Connect2Flourish, LLC. She holds an MA in Educational Communications and Technology from NYU, an Advanced Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology from UPenn, extensive awareness coach training from Mentor Coach and Positive Psychology Coach training from Positive Acorn. She is currently working toward International Coaching Federation (ICF) credentialing and is an active member of the global and local organization. Connect at 
Connect2FlourishCoaching.comSee Community Resource Guide listing, page 50.

pAndrea Garin Kopilakbrp

Connect2Flourish, LLC

As the Founder of Connect2Flourish, I use a coaching process grounded in the science of positive psychology and awareness coaching to help empower you to utilize your strengths so that yo... Read More »