Some time ago, I got an email from a young woman I was mentoring who was going through a rough time in her life.
How come you’re always happy? I want to be happy like you are.
Firstly, I emailed her back and assured her that even I wasn’t happy all day every day. Sometimes I’m sad. Sometimes bitter. I get grumpy and listless, too. Sometimes there are circumstances that hurl me into these emotions, but sometimes it seems as if there’s no reason at all. In other words, she didn’t need to add feeling inferior to her growing list of issues.
This woman tended to dwell on and even look for the bad side, so I gave her some tools to help her begin to choose happiness. I wrote them down for myself, too, so that I could remember when I started feeling hopeless.
1. Praise God for Who He Is
He is everything our earthly relationships are not. It’s hard to be negative when you meditate on who God is. When you begin to express those truths, joy begins to seep into your heart.
I praise you God, for you are mighty. You alone are God! You, God are my deliverer and my comforter, my shelter. You are awesome and just. You are the Creator and my salvation!
If you have a hard time with this, look up some verses that praise God and begin to pray those. Some of my favorites:
2. Dwell on What is Good
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
3. Take Care of Yourself
4. Be in a Constant State of Growth
I’ve heard Calvary Chapel Pastor Greg Laurie say that if you’re not moving forwards, you’re backsliding. Study your Bible. Read books on spiritual growth. If you’re struggling as a wife, read a few minutes each day in a book about Godly marriage. Join a Bible study group. Listen to Christian radio. Never stop growing!
5. Be Others-Focused
This might seem in disagreement with #3, but it is not. We take care of ourselves in order to better serve others. Put someone else’s needs before your own. When you’re feeling sad, pray for someone you know is also hurting. Reach out to a friend who needs a listening ear. Bake some cookies for an elderly neighbor.
The world will say you can’t help anyone until you are healthy and strong. The Bible says we are to serve others in humility and then we will be lifted up. (James 4:10, Philippians 2:1-11)
6. Make Time for Fun
Take your kids skating. Dance around the house while doing chores. If you love to bake, bake. If you love to hike, hike. Get your calendar out and plan to have some good, old-fashioned fun. Sure, spontaneous fun is more fun, but planned fun is better than no fun at all!
Does one of these keys speak to you today?