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Happiness and the Helping Professional

by Leigh Anne Saxe


How are your clients?  Do they feel better now that they’ve worked with you?  Do they use the tools you have offered them?


Hey, wait a minute! What about you?  Do you enjoy waking up on Monday and beginning your work-week?  Are you engaged with your clients and present in the moment?  Do you feel happy in the work you are doing?


Many times as helping professionals we are caught up in the day-to-day grind. It’s easy to be on automatic pilot… client, next client, outcomes, and repeat.  Yet it is essential for us to feel good during workday minutes and hours. When we feel better, we have clarity, focus and an abundance of ideas to share with our clients. It is only when we feel empowered that we can effectively empower our clients.


Here are three easy and fun things you can do to feel better during your workday. This is personal, so pick what fits for you.


  • First, LAUGH!  When we laugh we automatically feel good. Think of a time that was funny. A joke that made you laugh. A silly show that got you giggling. Something unexpected that made you snicker. Bring up those funny feelings again! Laughter is contagious – laugh often and you’ll soon have others laughing right along with you.
  • Second, take a mental holiday. Take a minute or two to get out of your reality and mentally escape. Some people like to meditate. I prefer to visualize the beach, the forest, the ski slopes. Close your eyes and think about a place you love. Choose somewhere that immediately makes you feel great and you’ll feel better instantly. Where are you?  What are you seeing, hearing, enjoying?  This “out of your reality” experience has the potential to lift your spirits and give you a mental break from your thoughts and feelings in the moment. Vacate a few times a day.
  • Third, find something to appreciate. Feeling appreciation works best when you are already in a hopeful or optimistic mindset. Notice the good things around you. Think about the aspects you love about your life. What do you like about your home? Your friendships?  Choose an item and list its positive aspects. Add to this list daily and put it where you can see it.


As helping professionals it can be tricky to keep a positive mindset when we see clients in turmoil and distress. Keeping yourself happy and healthy takes practice and a determination to feel good. Laughter, mental holidays and finding appreciation are some basic ways to feel better. Remember that when you feel your best, you have everything to give to your clients. Your happiness is your biggest gift!



Leigh Anne Saxe, a Canadian Certified Counsellor, assists people in creating happiness and meaning in their lives. Leigh Anne’s leading edge presentations, A Recipe for Happiness and “YES!” Your Way to Great Career Decisions,have inspired people across Canada and the United States. Connect with Leigh Anne when she presents atCannexus 2011 or through

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