We all want to be happy. But realistically, life can get in the way. Some days are really good, but every person deals with their share of difficulty and heartache – no one is exempt. But did you know that there are specific things that we can all do purposefully to be happier?
God says in John 10:10 that he wants us to enjoy our life…to be happy. Not a fleeting rollercoaster of happiness based on everything going right, but a deeper, more meaningful happiness. Psalm 27:13 says that we will see God’s goodness in the land of the living. That means that we don’t have to wait to be happy until we die and go to heaven. God has good for you every day!
I have found that a few specific decisions I have made (and continue to make daily) greatly add to my overall happiness and wellbeing. I am grateful to say that I am a happy person. And yes, I have faced some very unhappy circumstances, some incredibly difficult seasons where I didn’t know if I would ever be happy again. I’ve also traveled the world and seen terrible injustice, been heartbroken by the overwhelming needs of others and seemingly hopeless situations. But through those experiences, I have learned that because of the love of God, hope survives. And happiness is a real state of being, even in the midst of difficulty.
The joy that God gives us in intrinsic. It is a gift of his Holy Spirit. It comes from who he is and what he has done for us – nothing and no one can take that away! Happiness, however, can be fleeting. So, below is my list of happiness decisions. Choices and habits that will help increase your satisfaction, sense of purpose, and yes, your happiness. I encourage you to give them a try, one by one, and see for yourself.
1) See the good. Take notice of the good in your life and all around you. You will be amazed at how much good there is, even in the trials, when you set your radar to pick up more of it. Look for the good in others. Look for the beauty in the world and appreciate it. Thankful people are happy people.
This practice is the path leading you to an important state…one of hope. This is the place where you actually expect good things to happen. Where you can assume the best of others. Shake off offense when it knocks at your door. When you have the choice, refuse to open your life to the things that will only serve to drag you down.
2) Be the good. Do good things for others expecting nothing in return. To be happy, look for opportunities to make other people happy. Listen to what they say, what they enjoy, what they need, and then find ways to bless them.
There is a big world of need around you. Be a beacon of good in that world wherever you can. Love others. Help where you have the opportunity. I have learned that even the small things make a big difference and when I take those steps, my happiness level increases exponentially.
3) Embrace the good in you. Allow yourself to see and embrace the good that God has put in you. Accept his complete love for you. Don’t shy away from your gifts or talk badly about yourself. It’s healthy to love yourself! We all have a way to go, but you can and should be happy with who God created you to be.
This one change may bring you more peace and joy than anything else. This very decision is the place from which all the others flow.
4) Bring out the good in others. You have knowledge, experience, and talent that other people can benefit from. They need you. Invest in them, mentor, love well. Yes, we are all busy, I certainly am, but when I make the time to help others grow, it fills me with so much purpose. I love to recognize the abilities in them that they may not see in themselves and then to help them to cultivate that potential. When that happens, it always enriches both me and them. It is one of my very favorite things! And yes, it will change the world one happier person at a time.
5) Laugh easily. Fight the urge to be a curmudgeon. Ha! Happiness multiplies for you and for others when you let your delight flow and before you know it, a little becomes more. Enjoy what you do. Look for reasons to smile. And when you feel like it, let out a belly laugh. Psalms 37:4 says that when you delight yourself in the Lord, he will give you the desires of your heart. A merry heart does good like a medicine (Proverbs 17:22) so don’t hold back!
6) Live in dialogue with God. This walk with God is a relationship of constant communication. Tell him everything, all day long. Laugh with him. Pour out your needs to him and let his peace ease your mind. Talking with God isn’t just for a specified prayer time, it is for every moment. People who understand that they are not alone are much happier.
7) Exercise your faith. Stretch it. Work it out. We get stronger when we exercise, and the more we flex our faith, the more we see God’s faithfulness in our lives. Understand that faith means not just trusting when all is well, but it is a hopeful outlook that God will bring good even from the bad. Faith combats stress, fear, and anxiety – thieves of happiness. And it all begins with a tiny seed of faith which in God’s hands can move mountains.
There you have it. 7 habits of unusually happy people. I believe there is happiness ahead for you! I believe that as you put these purposeful choices into action and adjust how you think, with some practice you can be an unusually happy person. The type of person that others look at and wonder, “What is different about them?” And you know what, that makes me happier too, because the next question they ask will be, “How can I be unusual too.”
– love, Ginger