Have you ever wished you could go back to childhood when life was simple and the biggest worry was how you were going to fit all your favorite stuffed animals around the table at your pretend tea party? I mean, you didn’t want to leave anyone out!
Or if tea parties weren’t your thing, maybe your biggest stress was deciding which flavor slushie to choose when Mom took you for an after-school snack.
Way back when, finding happiness was like a thrilling scavenger hunt with surprises and wonder around every corner. Ah, those were the days!
When did life start to get hard?
Was it when relationship drama came along in high school? Or was it when you had to declare your major in college? Or maybe when you moved out of home and discovered those things called bills.
Maybe life got challenging when babies came along and you kissed your Saturday morning sleep-ins good-bye. Or maybe life’s gotten difficult because you so desperately want a baby to kiss.
No matter your reason, life gets hard. The responsibilities increase, the demands heighten, the chores pile up, and the amount of money it takes to live soars.
How is your happiness affected by your circumstances?
Oftentimes, joy vanishes. The blissful, authentic happiness that was once evident becomes overshadowed by the hardships and busyness on life.
We believe that happiness will magically reappear if or when our circumstances change.
“I’ll finally be happy if I get that promotion.”
“When I lose 10 more pounds and fit into a size 8, then I’ll be happy.”
“We just need a holiday. If we could afford a vacation, then we’d be happy again.”
“Once the kids are older, I’ll get a break. I’ll be happy then.”
What do all of these remarks have in common? They are dependent upon circumstances. Yet, this is where many of us get tripped up because. . .
Happiness does not depend on your circumstance.
The hard truth is that no set of circumstances, no matter how perfect you could imagine them, will make you happy. It’s a fact. You and I live in a fallen world, a world that cannot externally provide the happiness we long for.
Do you want to know the secret?
TRUE HAPPINESS IS A STATE OF MIND.
The following quote from the 12 Step Prayer Book sums up the essence of happiness.
Happiness is not a matter of good fortune or worldly possessions. It’s a mental attitude. It comes from appreciating what we have, instead of being miserable about what we don’t have. It’s so simple—yet so difficult for the human mind to comprehend.
True happiness is an attitude. A choice that you have the power to make! You can choose to be happy. It’s really that simple.
Simple, yes. Easy, not always.
You have to train your thoughts just like you train your body with exercise. The more times you choose to think positively and find the good in a situation, the more natural it becomes. Rather than always wishing for different or better circumstances, find the good in the one you’re experiencing today.
Here are a few tips to find the happiness in today:
- Start a gratitude list. Write down blessings you’re thankful for. Post this list on your bathroom mirror. Share it with a friend. Start living from a place of thankfulness.
- Be a “thank-you” person. In your everyday conversation, start by thanking someone. Pray a specific “thank you” prayer to God. Don’t ask for anything, just praise Him. You’ll be surprised at how much your attitude is lifted when you start thanking people. They’ll be happier, too!
- Ask yourself the deep questions. When you’re in a crummy situation that lacks happiness, discover the good in it. Ask yourself: What can I learn from this situation? How am I growing from this experience? What’s a small victory I can celebrate now?
- Get moving! Go outside for a jog or bike ride. Move your body. Exercise increases endorphins, the body’s natural feel good chemicals. Combine exercise with the Vitamin D from sunlight and you’re on your way to a great mood boosting session!
Question: What are you thankful for? Let’s start a gratitude list in the comments below!
Lots of love,
I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret to living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. ~Philippians 4:12