Paolo Assandri
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  • Exercise

The collage of happiness

With this exercise, I invite you to explore the idea that happiness is something you can create and not something that simply happens to you. We all have the opportunity do something to make us even a little bit happier.

Martin Seligman, pioneer of positive psychology, states that happiness is made of things we like, things that make us feel good and things that give value and meaning to our existence.

Often, we wait for a “turning point” that would change our life in a positive and surprising way and that would put us in a permanent condition of great well-being. Even though it is true that some events can make us happy, this idea can make us passive, unhappy and disappointed, thus preventing us to lead a more fulfilling life.

In order to do so, I invite you to make your own “Small Collage of Happiness”.

You will need:

  • Paper
  • Pen
  • A big draw paper sheet (if you do not have one you can use a piece of brown paper or a piece of paper box)
  • A bunch of magazines (containing lots of photos, drawings, pictures). They can be old or new.
  • Glue or adhesive tape

If you want, you can also use colours (crayons, coloured pens, tempera colours, etc).

Now follow my instructions and let’s build together your own Collage of Happiness:

Choose the pictures:

Take the magazines. Choose and cut out 20 (or more) pictures that represent things or situations you like or/and that bring you positive emotions.

Arrange your temporarily Collage:

Take a big paper sheet and place the pictures as you think it is best but do not glue them on paper yet. This is your temporary Collage of Happiness…

A moment of reflection:

Now close your eyes and take four or five breaths and think that this collage represents what you like and makes you happy. Once you open your eyes again, take a pen and paper and answer these questions:

  • What is that stands out from the collage?
  • What do I want to take out?
  • What is missing?

If you think there is something to change, you can do it now.
If you think there is something to take out, you can do it now.
If you think there is something to add, you can do it now.

Arrange your “Small Collage of Happiness”:

Make all the right adjustments and arrange your “Small Collage of Happiness” and glue the pictures you cut out on paper

Arrange your Plan of Action:

Once you have done it, look at it and then take a pen and paper and ask yourself:

What can I do to make my day more fulfilling?
Which are the things I put in the collage that are missing in my life?
What could bring more fun into my life?ù

Write down your ideas and intuitions. Make a plan of action that is realistic and doable and…DO IT!!

I wish you many, many moments of happiness. But above all, I wish you to become the main character of your own life and the enthusiastic sponsor of your own well-being.

Author: Paolo Assandri is a HCPC Registered Counselling Psychologist and a UKCP Registered Full Clinical Psychotherapist. He is also a fully qualified Italian psychologist (Ordine degli Psicologi del Piemonte). He lives and works in London offering counselling and psychotherapy.

This exercise is not intended to replace any kind of medical/psychological therapy. Its only purpose is to increase individual perception of well-being. If you need medical or psychological support, please contact a qualified health practitioner. Authors, producers, consultants involved in the production of this exercise are not responsible for any psychological or physical injury which could happen during or after completing the activity explained in this article.

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