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My idea for this post about how to find happiness all started with a quote! It said “Happiness is an inside job. Don’t assign anyone else that much power over your life”.-Mandy Hale.
I wanted to know, How do you find happiness?
First of all, there’s a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is external like my dog makes me happy or my Magnum® ice cream bar makes me happy. Joy is internal. I have the love of Christ in my life, which gives me joy.
Happiness? This question took me down a path of asking friends and relatives and posting on social media. I am generally a happy person. Sure, sometimes I get discouraged. I mean, look at me, I have no hands or feet.
However, my life has more love, joy and happiness in it than you could possibly imagine. I asked everyone, “how do you find happiness?” I received a lot of wonderful responses. The answer is simple!
Happiness is a conscious decision!
You have to choose to be happy. Also, you cannot let others control your emotions. For instance, if someone says something that hurts your feelings or makes you angry, you have total control over those emotions. You get to choose how you respond.
That’s easier said than done, I know. I consider myself to be extremely emotional. This means I cry at EVERYTHING! I cry when I’m sad, happy, angry, hurt, at commercials, when I hear beautiful music, you name it. My daughter Megan always tells me to “suck it back in Mom!”. I never learned how to do that, but I imagine it’s possible. I take that back. I’m sure it’s possible. Again, it’s a choice.
So if happiness is a choice, then there are external things that you can do to create that happiness. Let us count the simple ways.
- Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment! When you have accepted Jesus as your savior, you not only have external happiness, but you find an internal joy beyond all understanding. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t experienced this kind of love and joy. I highly recommend it!
- Gratitude. I put this near the top of the list because it’s a known fact that people who are thankful are happier. We are so blessed, more so than we deserve. That’s for sure! I am constantly reminded of all the things that I have to be thankful for. For ideas on different ways that you can count your blessings visit Gratitude from A to Z: Things to be Thankful for and Gratitude: Why Counting Your Blessings is so Important. If you would like 40 Gratitude Journal Prompts, feel free to request them here:
Forgiveness. When you carry that burden of a grudge against someone, it weighs you down. Our relationship with Jesus Christ is based on forgiveness. He died on the cross to pay your debt of sin. Jesus forgives and so can you. It’s just not worth the weight. Just let things go! Be sure and forgive yourself too!
Comparison. Don’t compare your life to others. Be content with the life God gave you. We all have a tendency to look at our neighbor and compare houses, or yards or cars. I think this is common in the blogging world. It’s hard not to look at someone else’s blog and be jealous because they may have more followers or make more money. However, we are all at a different point on the path. I’m still a beginner so it’s crazy for me to compare myself to someone who has been around a lot longer. However, I’m so happy with the fact that I’m a new blogger who is still learning. Would I like to make money with my blog? Of course, and someday soon I will. However, I am thrilled that you are reading this right now. Please leave me a love note in the comments if you get the urge. Positive comments make me happy too!
Love. “Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”. Matt 22:37-39 When you have that kind of love in your life, you can’t help but be happy. Can you imagine what this world would be like if everyone loved like that? There would be no hatred, abuse, or crime. I’m afraid the only time we will experience that won’t be until after Jesus returns. However, what a glorious world we will live in then. I can’t wait!
Relationships. We find happiness and joy in the relationships that we have. We are blessed with our spouses, children, families, and friends. Choose people who only bring edification to your life. Edify others. It’s our job to build people up, not bring them down. We will be held accountable for every idle word, so let’s make them count.
Live in the moment. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Praise the Lord for His mercies which are new every morning. Put your focus on those things you can control. When you are with your family, put down the technology and pay attention to what’s going on. I will admit, I am very guilty of this. I always have my phone with me. However, when I do that, I’m not spending my time wisely. We are at the point in our lives that it’s just a matter of months before all the kids have moved out. I need to use what little time we have left, wisely. So to my family, “I’m sorry”! My family blesses me with so much joy and happiness. Being a wife and momma is the greatest job on earth. I thank God every day for my family. Whether I’m holding my newborn, they’re rolling in the dirt, writing on the walls, learning to drive, walking down the aisle or leaving home, every moment with my kids puts a smile on my face. Technically, not the leaving home part, but the coming home to visit momma and daddy part does. These moments almost literally melt my heart.
Contentment. Be accepting of ourselves and love ourselves. Aren’t we always trying to lose weight or make more money or have a nicer car? Those things are great, but as you strive to reach those goals, be happy with who you are. It saddens me when people say they won’t be happy until they win the lottery or meet the perfect mate. That’s wrong, friends! Be happy now! Love yourself and love your situation. It’s good to have goals, but don’t base your happiness on the accomplishment of those goals.
Stuff. This category contains all the other stuff like food, puppies, babies, homes and everything else. I think it’s so important for you to be happy in whatever state you’re in, but friends, give me a double caramel Magnum® bar and I am on top of the world! Who isn’t happier when they’re rolling around on the ground with a bunch of puppies or holding your baby for the first time (or any time, for that matter)? These are put-a-smile-on-your-face happy moments. Try and make them every chance that you get.
Generosity. Giving to others is a huge blessing and will always make you smile. Give of your money, your time, your clothing or your love. Take every opportunity to help someone out and you will always find happiness. I absolutely love random acts of kindness. Check out my blog post entitled 20 Beautiful and Loving Ways to Pay it Forward. Make sure you read that to get lots of ideas on how you can be generous toward others. Open up your heart and share your love with others. Even when you think that you don’t have something to give, I guarantee that if someone is down and out, whatever you’re holding on to so tightly, someone else needs it far more than you do. Test this theory and see. You will feel better if you give!
So there you have 10 simple ways to find happiness. Basically, happiness is a choice. You have to choose to be happy. Choose love over fear, choose faith over worry, choose to count blessings instead of lack… make a conscious choice to choose happiness! Be intentional with your happiness. If you find that you’re in a grumpy mood, flip the switch. The same way you can change the channel on the TV if you don’t like what you’re watching, you can change your mindset. I heard this idea many years ago regarding your mindset. It works if you think that you can’t do something, change the channel.
“What you focus on grows, what you think about expands, and what you dwell upon determines your destiny.”
— Robin S. Sharma
So how do you find happiness? You make it!
“Of this be sure: you don’t find a happy life… you make it!” -Thomas A. Monson Let’s continue the conversation over on Facebook You will find my page at One Exceptional Life’s Facebook page.