We all want a happy life. Happiness brings with it better health, more satisfying relationships, it makes us more creative, lets our work flow better and easier, and attracts happy people into our lives as well as lets our happiness spill over into other people’s lives. But being happy can be a challenge. It’s easy to set our focus on the bad things in life while ignoring the good. It is also easy to search for happiness in the wrong places.
Every day, people buy too much stuff, eat too much food, and waste away their hours chasing after happiness…to no avail. They may find excitement or satiation, but TRUE HAPPINESS still eludes them. Often times the obstacles of happiness are harbored within us.
Obstacles to Happiness
* Do you know what you actually want or need to be happy?
* Do you have a close walk with the LORD? If not, what are reasons that keep you from it?
* Do you take time for your own happiness? (For example, do you make time for yourself to do what you enjoy?)
* Do you think someone else is to be blamed for your unhappiness? (For example, parents, bosses, colleagues, the economy
* Is your effort in achieving happiness actually preventing you from achieving it? (For example, trying to make more money
because it can buy the things that will make you happy, but ignoring family and personal health in the process).
* Are there inaccurate beliefs about happiness that are ruling your live? (For example, people are selfish and cannot be
trusted, you can rely only on yourself etc.)
* Do you put off important decisions or actions? (For example, having a difficult conversation, sorting out your finances
* Do you have fears that if you appear happier than your peers, you will be rejected? (For example, you join in the gossip
and complaint sessions, just to fit in).
If you feel some obstacles apply to you, make sure to find ways to address each of them.
12 Happiness Tips
While it is important to clear out real and possible obstacles to happiness, there are easy actions you can take to be happy. If done on a regular basis, these actions will become your happiness habits.
1. Be kind to yourself
Mind your thoughts and words towards yourself. Forgive yourself for things you have done and not done. Know who you are
in Christ. Look forward. Take time for yourself and give yourself every now and then a nice treat.
2. Quit complaining
The first step to finding happiness is to stop trying to find what’s wrong with the world around you. There’s plenty to
complain about, but if you focus all of your attention there, you’ll never see the good stuff.
3. Choose to live in love
Falling in love with the world (and people) around you is a sure step toward happiness…and it’s easy. Simply accept
people for who they are, and choose to see the good in them. Don’t expect it … CHOOSE it … then express it.
4. Start and end each day with God
Nourish your soul and mind each day with the Living Word of God. Get wisdom and encouragement for the day and be
connected with God throughout the day.
5. Practice appreciation and gratitude
Start expressing your appreciation and gratitude every day. Be specific. Keep a gratitude journal and write down at
least 3 things you’re grateful for every morning or evening. Before long, you’ll have more things to appreciate than you
6. Smile often
The act of smiling, even if it is a ‘forced’ smile for a couple of minutes, activates neural messaging and the release
of the feel-good neurotransmitters — dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. Therefore, smile often!
7. Sing daily
Singing has some of the same effects as smiling and exercising, like the release of endorphins, which reduce stress and
make you feel “uplifted”. Singing church hymns and Christian songs will comfort and inspire through the lyrics and in
addition glorify the LORD.
8. Perform acts of kindness
Giving not only benefits the receiver, it contributes to the givers’ health, happiness, and sense of social connection.
Try this simple exercise to get started:
Chose one day this week and perform 5 acts of kindnesses. They can be big or small, random or planned, for a stranger or
someone you know. Dropping a quarter in a stranger’s parking meter, donating blood, or, at work try cleaning the
communal kitchen area, or pitching in on a colleague’s project. At the end of the day write down what you did, how the
person responded, and notice the difference you feel.
9. Offer forgiveness
Keeping grudges means holding onto anger, resentment, and hurt. Practicing forgiveness releases the pain and allows us
to move on. Think of a grudge you’re holding. Acknowledge your feelings, thoughts, and sensations around the experience
then ask yourself, what areas in my life is this grudge negatively affecting? How is it impacting those around me? What
positive change would occur if I let it go and moved on? Forgiveness isn’t about minimizing feelings or condoning
transgressions. It’s about letting go and setting yourself and the other person free.
10. Make your own happiness list:
– Something you love
– Something to do
– Something to look forward to
11. Keep a journal of blessings and achievements
Give your faith and confidence a boost by writing down all the blessings in your life, how you have been/are a blessing
to others, and all your achievements in life. Look over it every now and then.
12. Connect each day with nature
Nature plays such a role when it comes to our happiness. Open the blinds and windows, feel the sun on your skin and the
earth under your feet. Listen to the birds and the rustling of the leaves. Watch the beauty of animals and observe the
uniqueness of flowers.
We all experience life’s ups and downs. By practicing these 12 Happiness Tips on a daily or at least regular basis, they will develop into happiness habits. You will be better equipped to handle whatever challenge life throws at you and experience more happiness.
So, what will YOU do to create more happiness in your life TODAY?