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7 Ways to Be Happier

23 Jul 2013

"I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live." - Ecclesiastes 3:12

To many, life is like a constantly spinning wheel.  Sometimes you're up and sometimes you're down.  But do you know someone whose wheel seems to always be up there?  A genuinely, constantly, happy person?

We may think that we don't have much control over what happens in our day and thus, we don't know if happiness will come along our way or not.  But some people seem to know the secret to everlasting happiness.  The good thing is that they don't have a monopoly on it.  We can all be happy, regardless of what life may bring.

1. Don't wait to be happy.
"As soon as I get a million in my bank account, I'll be free to do whatever I please and be really happy."
"As soon as the man of my dreams come into my life, I'll be happy."
"As soon as my children finish school, then I can rest and be happy."

You'll hear these words every day from people who are waiting to be happy.  Happiness is something you can choose to have right now.  Life was not designed to be perfect. The challenges we face daily can either be stepping stones or stumbling blocks depending on how we look at them. 

2. Love yourself
Happy people love and accept themselves.  God made us each so uniquely and beautifully.  Without an ounce of vanity, be thankful for who God made you to be!

"I praise You Lord because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  All Your works are wonderful.  I know that full well... How amazing are Your thoughts concerning me!" - Psalm 139

3. Deny yourself that extra serving of rice!  TV commercials and billboards encourage us to indulge in the things that make us happier... more often.  A recently conducted study contradicts that.  It showed that the higher amount of self-control one had, the more satisfaction they had in their lives, even on a short term basis. 

4. On the go  Studies reveal that happy people have not stopped moving forward.  They keep learning, seeking, growing.  Many of them are creative and have an outlet to express themselves in various forms of self expression.

5. Connect.
Happy people have a network of deeply committed relationships. They have people they can go to when they need support.  They are friendly, interested in others' welfare and they spend a lot of quality time building their relationships with others.  Happiness is often contagious so you'll find that happy people come from happy families and friends.  We hope to be the kind of people who infect others with joy.

6. Soul + Spirit
In today's society, everyone puts a premium on looks and physical attributes, while oftentimes neglecting the soul.  Since our bodies will fade and our souls won't, doesn't it make sense to prioritize the wellbeing of our souls?  Studies show the people who are deeply spiritual and have a community where they can express their faith are twice as happy as people who don't.

7. Examine your thoughts.
In a single day, an average of 30,000 thoughts cross a person's mind.  This may come as a surprise but the quality of a person's joy is dependent on what those thoughts contain. 

The study of the brain over the years has revealed that 87% to 95% of ailments are caused by the repetitive negative thoughts that people allow themselves to think each day.  

When the thoughts are good, the neurons or nerve cells up in our head undergo a process and they look like trees but when we harbor anger and unforgiveness, these look like thorns and ultimately, when we keep thinking thoughts like this, the thorns hurt us.  In a nutshell, our brains were not built to handle toxic thoughts and emotions for prolonged periods of time without detrimental effects to our health (and our happiness). 

So be conscious of what you are thinking.  If you are prone to grumbling and anger, decide to be thankful and look for a blessing (which is all around) to think of instead.  Make up your mind beforehand of things that make you happy inside and replace toxic thoughts with these whenever they spring up.  

"We were made for fullness of life." - John 10:10

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