HAPPINESS CONSULTANCY 5
Happiness is a result and combination of activities that trigger and enact happiness to a person. The state of emotional well-being and joyfulness classifies an individual as happy and creates a rapport in which he/she can interact and affect happiness to others. These activities that lead to happiness rely on the perception and mental understanding of the person. According to research done by Delian & King (2005) practicing and performing acts of gratitude and exercising kindness, lead to happiness. The study concludes that showing gratitude improves the relations in between individuals thus triggering intense joy which in turn replicates to happiness. This report will feature gratitude and acts of gratitude as the main triggers of happiness. Gratitude is a virtue of ethical nature that tends to cover and encompass individuals from all walks of life.
Gratitude majors it’s principle on the appreciation and returning kindness as a way of one being thankful. In showing gratitude, one’s readiness and willingness to show appreciation is what counts. Sonja (2009) says that gratitude and happiness are coordinated events. This interprets that an act of thanks and appreciation triggers self-satisfaction within which correlates happiness and joy with oneself. This activity can be exercised in different platforms in the life of an individual. According to Froh (2010), a happy person is characterised by his personality. Therefore, in this case, when a person features acts of gratitude in his/her personality; the likelihood of the individual leading a happy life is high.
Conferring to Scott (2013), happiness is an emotional multi-dimensional feeling that cuts across all the units of the society. This replicates that the effects of this acts of gratitude if undertaken by a significant number in the community, the good being and development rate of the society, will rise drastically. The individual well-being and mental awareness is a great benefit to the community. Majorly, this is contributed by the fact that the person can work to maximum potential thus maximising output.
In my consultancy, I involved three individual who could be relied on and a high credibility. The first client was Chris, a 25-year-old Christian bachelor who is freshly out of college and still looking for a job. Jane, the second participant, was a middle-aged mother of two young children who worked in as a skilled heath worker. Lastly, the third client was Cecilia; the 20 years old medical student is a friend whom I met through a church meeting. However, Client three Cecilia is a dull person. She indulges in activities such as church activities even though she is still monotonous. Client three’s role was to show the effects of acts of gratitude on a low esteem and dullness. Since I knew, the clients on a basis personal communication on the research were not hard. On the first client, I called him and explained my intentions and the vague details of the consultancy. A detailed email that bears all the particulars of the research was sent to him. This email provided insights on the design and goals of the consultancy. I requested to meet face to face with client number two because of her value to the study. During the meeting, I explained all dynamics, logistics and details of the project. After the talk with her, I gave her time to think about it and good riddance she accepted to be a client. A detailed email was then sent to her so that she can understand the contents of the research thoroughly.
The protocols and designs of this research enable the clients to go on with their day to day activities. The research topic was introduced to the participants during the recruitment process through which they accumulate the necessary knowledge on the research. To maximise the creation of the relevant awareness and to pass off public knowledge, it is essential to assign and allocate almost each with different particular parts of the research program. On the beginning of the seven weeks exercise, I invited all the clients together so that we could have a talk. I wanted to create a rapport in which they all understand the specifics of the study. This was most effective way to pass the relevant information details on how the study would be carried out. This is prolific as in a talk; communication with the participants on the design of the research can be elaborated by the use of a questionnaire after the talk so as to test the understanding of the participants on the topic, methods and goal of the study.
These specifics included which activities they could involve in that would increase their knowledge on gratitude, the benefits of indulging in these activities and options on how to undertake these techniques. Since each client came from a different walk of life, after my talk I held an individual interview with each of the clients. During the meeting, we discussed the potential barriers that may hinder their participation in these activities and the research areas which they have not fully understood. After the interview, I made sure all the clients filled a questionnaire. I wanted to be sure that my method of passing information was efficient and that the data given to these individuals was understood correctly. The choice of use of questionnaires was based on the fact that questionnaires can:
1. They are practical as one involves the participants directly
2. The data can be compared to other previous research on the same topic.
3. Offers maximum reliability and credibility as the information is first hand.
4. The findings of research can effectively be computed by the researcher.
Each client was then handed a diary and a pen with which they could record their activities on a daily basis for the seven weeks.
In the analysis of the questionnaire just on the verge of beginning I noted that after educating the clients on the best ways to show gratitude, they tend to isolate three ways. These techniques include;
i. Showing acknowledgement of someone’s presence, effort and hard work. This is an efficient manner of expressing gratitude as demonstrated by Adam (2008). Simply this is the best show of appreciation and is best measured on the person which gratitude is shown. The primary objective of this method is to garner and review how influencing the well-being of others affects one’s personal well-being.
ii. Engaging in community volunteer activities. A study by Meyer (2013) shows that indulging in activities such as social volunteering in cleaning up the city you live in and take care of the less privileged in the society, triggers self-satisfaction, self-confidence and self- belief which in eventually reciprocate to happiness. Gratitude is well distributed to the community by the society through showing care and love to all aspects of the society.
Monitoring the clients was based on their willingness to participate in these activities. Even though I knew each of them personally, it was essential I track their progress weekly so as to ensure the data I got was reliable. I allocated two days in a week for each. On this day, we could meet and they would give me accounts of their progress, ask questions pertaining emerging issues and finally share the experiences they got while performing acts of gratitude. I also made sure that they are aware that am available anytime when they have a pressing Issue or a comment about the effects of involving in acts of gratitude. To my view, the diary was a genuine reflection of change and progress in clients well being. Therefore, I encouraged them to fill their diaries at least every day if possible so as to they could identify changes, note the activities they have carried out and note how they feel about the whole exercise. I also held meetings with them every three weeks; these meetings were aimed at creating a mutual understanding of the individuals so that they could share with each other their experiences and how they handled challenges arising from the study.
The entire process was quite a life changing to me. This is because I monitored my actives via my diary in an almost daily protocol t which I stated the acts of gratitude I have performed that day, their effect on the society, particular individual and me. This was mandatory because I needed to ensure that evaluation of these techniques was at my best. I also attended the client meetings so that I could learn on better ways of performing gratitude and how others were handling challenges in the consultancy. In the duration of the study, the activities I performed made me feel self-satisfaction. I was involved in a voluntary activity as a part of my study. Through this, I had real experiences that changed my view on specifics in life. Slowly I noticed how confident I was becoming about myself and the high levels of self-belief I had. I also started anticipating for the activities and events that involved gratitude that I had planned. I also became aware of the effects and essence of performing these acts of graciousness. In this context, I also noticed that even little this could make me happier and I was mostly jovial throughout the day. Despite all these positive changes, I kept thinking I was becoming more emotional even to little matters. Therefore, I decided to share that with one of my clients. Jane, the second client, is a mature lady; she listened to me and relented on her experiences too. During our discussion, she managed to convince me that what I was experience was a positive change and my concerns were barely on the fear of embracing change. The most helpful fact I learnt throughout this consultancy is that at the end of the day one goes to bed content with what you have done, you go to sleep with a good feeling about self and continue thinking what better you would do the next day.
Client’s experience and outcomes
Client one — Chris
Chris, a 25-year-old Christian bachelor freshly out of college with a non-permanent job was a perfect description of a talented young man with big dreams. He likes to hang out with his peers and engages in sporting activities as he plays amateur tennis. The social class of Chris made him eligible for an exercise of showing gratitude. Chris was involved in a volunteer program in which a group of members of his church visited schools and talked to the teenagers on the effects of drug and substance abuse. Through this program, his role was to talk and share with others on the topic. This volunteer session was done in a manner in which Chris was able to communicate with the teenagers freely and try to impact positive change to the teenagers.
At the beginning of the programme, Chris took the Oxford happiness quiz and scored 4.1 out of 6. This showed that he was not a happy fellow but could occasionally be happy for durations. According to Chris, the last seven weeks have brought about benefits to his life. During the programme, the rather silent Chris started being more expressive. On the last talk I had with him, Chris stated that he achieved self-confidence and was even better in the things he was doing such as tennis. He noted to me that during this program he made sure he practised this acts daily, this helped him get self-satisfaction and feel better about all this. In a light note, he stated that his friends noticed his jovialness and wanted to help him in volunteer work. In his diary, the change in Chris was elaborate. The first week he had written on how this programme was hectic, at the fourth week the diary was on what activities influenced him the best and on completion week, the diary was about how he could continue with the activities even without the resources of the program. On the day of closure of the programme, Chris completed the Oxford quiz and scored 4.7 rating him as rather happy.
Client two- Jane
Jane, a 32-year-old individual, is a friend. At her place of work, the hospital meets a proportionally large quantity of people. Therefore, she is always tired from her workplace duties and rarely involves in other activities. On approach to her, I challenged her that I could make her feel better at the end of people her day and programme despite all her frustrations and challenges. Jane decided that her acts would directly relate to her place of work. The implementation of the act of acknowledgement appreciation at her place of work was very applicable. She devised her routine in which she could make sure she acknowledges the most number of personnel and patients she works with.
Jane’s score on the happiness quiz was 4.1 at the beginning of the programme. On our first weekly meeting with her, she stated that was facing many challenges especially on implementation of this acts. She clarified that she kept forgetting and I suggested she created a to–do list in which she could note the actions that she needed to undertake each day. Jane revealed to me that she was recording progress in our third week, despite her work frustrations and family duties at the end of the day she reflected on the real acts of gratitude she has done and felt self-content. This was progress to her; I acknowledged it. In the conduct of my analysis on her diary on week five, I noticed she started regularly buying gifts for her family even with no special occasion. She was extending her act of appreciation to her family. Therefore, I was not surprised on the last day as she scored 4.8 out of 6. That was a significant change; she testified that she slept better, woke up in a jovial mood and her family was grown alive through her.
Client three— Cecilia
The 20-year-old medical student had a rather strict routine. She was facing pressure from her parents and teachers to perform thus she was stressed. At the start, she was quite adamant to get involved in these activities. Therefore, with that in mind and her approval, I formulated a plan that was active for only three days in a week. Through this scheme, she joined the schools volunteer’s association in which she could involve in for only the three days. She could then note down how she felt after carrying out that activity before she slept.
In the beginning, her happiness score was 3.9 out of 6. This showed that she was rather sad and frustrated. In the third week of plan operation, she called me and noted that on the days she undertook the activities she slept peacefully. During our meeting in the fifth week I pointed out that even though the progress was slow, she was positively changing. This was because she mentioned that she was performing better in her assignments and requested a day more in her plan. However, she refused to share her diary stating that it had private information that she rather kept to herself. On the completion day, the result of the happiness test was 4.6 out of 6. The 0.7 increase was a reflection of the progress she was making. In my view on our last meeting, she looked lively and talked much about the upcoming charity event she was attending.
Experiences relating to academic research.
According to Charles (2010), a happy individual is dynamic and participates in activities that majorly affect the well-being of others rather than his/her well-being. This interprets that gratitude towards a person is directly related to the high accord of self. Selignman (2011) says that the primary effect of recognition is that it builds bridges in relationships between individuals be it families, workplaces and educational institution. This can be seen in the case of Jane, the second client. My research as stated that there was an improved mutual understanding and correlation in her family. Gratitude practice harbors the improvement of well-being to an individual. On reflection at the progress of the programme, I note that consultant when the emotional wellbeing of a person is a plus, one can be termed happy conferring to Setelyn (2013). Therefore, happiness is majorly serviced by the willingness and wants of a person to an individual to participate in acts that nature it.
However, it is ordered to note that if not well-administered gratitude can be perceived as a weakness. It is handy to note that it is a long-term activity that requires self-belief, persistence, patience and commitment to achieve efficient results. Despite all that, this consultancy was a great experience for all the clients. After the period of assessment, an analysis emotional state of the clients was conducted as indicated. In this post-study, the emotional well-being of each group individual was measured. Client one showed a 0.6 increase in happiness while client two and three showed a 0.7 increase. This increase in happiness score is directly related to the involvement in these acts of gratitude. The effectiveness in triggering happiness on individual accounts sustained the increase in emotional well-being of the clients. The welfare of the individuals was illustrated by their genuine want to continue performing their specific activities. It is, therefore, to remark that the happiness and well-being of these people were revolutionized by the indulgement in acts of showing gratitude.
In a personal context, this happiness consultancy is life changing. When one involves in acts of gratitude through appreciation dedication and acknowledgement more bonds are built rather than destroyed. Even though I did not suggest the clients continued involvement in this activity, they integrated it into their routines and traditions. The results of this operation may be long term but the effects of the exercise are worth the patience.
C. Franvench, Happiness in Personality, (2011) Emotional Well-Being, Routledge.
D. Scott, Acts of Kindness (2010) Retrieved on 14th may 2016
F. Selignman, Mutual understanding in Families, (2013), Family Journal vol 54, Pg no. 43.
H. B. Simon, Giving thanks can make you Happier, (2011), Health beat, Harvard.
K. Popper, the Logic of Scientific Discovery (2004) Taylor & Francis, Routledge.
M. Setelyn, Happiness and Gratitude, (2013) journal of health vol 23, Pg no. 32-65. Cambridge.
O. Marilyn, the Family, (2005), Journal of Societal Issues. Vol 32, Pg no. 23-30.
S. Ackroyd and J. A. Hughes, Data Collection in Context (1981) Longman.
Today has been very tiring. After that talk, I taught they were going to quit. Good riddance I feel like am on a verge of a great discovery. This clients seems rather dull though I hope I will be able to change that.
The activities we did today are exquisite. I can notice a change in individual participants, even though the effects are supposed to be long term. The intensity of these activities is rising. However, the weight of the research is narrowing in on the participants as most of them are terming the study as tiring. I have to do something to increase their patience.
The effects of the research are shaping in. I can feel the pressure of the study lowering. The results showing gratitude are amazing. I hope I can live to prove that indeed Gratitude fosters happiness. The procedure is slow but I believe it is effective.
This study is becoming more attractive. I received a gift card from Cecilia today. She thanked me for the positive change in her way of life. At least someone recognized the work I am doing. However, the research is almost ending; I need to make it more intense. I will make sure the questions of this week are deeper.
I feel so happy today. I just finished computing the results of this research. I need to put them in a clear format. Jane’s family has invited me for dinner. I was right the whole time. Showing gratitude indeed affects the well-being of an individual. This experience has been life changing for the family and I. Happiness indeed relies on the effort in activities one put’s to achieve it.