Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How to Be Happy Everyday: Is it Really Possible?

Do you think that it's impossible to be happy every day? I don't! Notice, I did NOT say to be happy every moment of every day, but rather to be happy ever day.

We all have times of heartache, fear, depression, disappointment and so on, but in the midst of those negative emotions and hardships of life, I fully believe that it is possible to be happy at least part of every day.

Here are my suggestions for being happy every day.

1. Look on the bright side. You know, there is always a bright side, even in the midst of a bad day or even bad period of time in your life. For instance, if you lose your job, the bright side may be that you are now free to pursue a job you've always wanted. Perhaps the loss of the job and thus the necessity for looking for a new job may be just the push you need to pursue your dream job. Looking on the bright side of every situation can help you to be happy every day.

2. Talk to yourself. Yes, that's right. There are times when it is necessary to talk to yourself. King David in the Bible had all kinds of problems, including people trying to kill him, and yet he always managed to rise above his depression. He chose to be happy in part by talking to himself. For example, in Psalm 42:5 he asked himself questions such as, "Soul, why are you cast down?" and then concluded by saying, "Hope in God!" He dealt honestly with his feelings of despair and then gave himself a pep talk. I think that David's tendency to talk to himself helped him to be happy every day. Talking to yourself can also help you to be happy every day.

3. Talk to God. The great thing about God is that He is always there and always willing to listen. People may not be around when you need to complain or talk about your concerns, but whether you are in the middle of a busy day or in the stillness of the night, God is there with you, and He is more than willing to listen. Sometimes knowing that you are not alone in your struggle by simply talking to God can help you to be happy every day.

4. Send notes of encouragement to other people. Has someone done something nice for you? Think about all the people in your past who have had a positive impact on your life. Make a list of them, and one by one, over time, write notes of encouragement and appreciation. This does two things that will help you to be happy every day. First of all, it removes your focus from yourself and your problems. Secondly, it can be fun to know that you are helping someone else to be happy. Those two things alone, not to mention the nice response you may receive from the person you wrote to will help you to be happy every day.

5. Keep a gratitude journal. Write down at least five things every day that you are thankful for on that specific day. Thankfulness and happiness go hand in hand. When I'm almost ready to go to sleep at night, I can choose to focus on whatever I'm worried or upset about or I can write down things I'm thankful for. If I express gratitude right before falling asleep at night, I'll likely fall asleep thinking pleasant thoughts which helps me to be happy every day.

6. Volunteer to serve others less fortunate than you. It really feels good to help others. It also helps to put my own problems and circumstances into a proper perspective. Working with people who are homeless, for example, makes my little apartment seem like a palace. Helping other people helps me to be happy every day.

7. Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Lack of sleep is a common cause of depression. Getting adequate sleep can be hard to do when you feel that you have too much to do or are worried about things, but do everything within your power to get the rest you need. If you put yourself on a schedule and go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every morning, your body will not only feel refreshed, but you will find it easier to go to sleep at night. Exercise is also a good stress reliever. Adequate sleep and exercise can both help you to be happy every day.

8. Do something fun or wacky. One day, when I was feeling especially blue, I, for some strange reason, decided to go outside and yell as loud as I could, "Life, I love you!" Yes, I felt a little silly, but as I ran back inside as quickly as I could, I laughed hard, and quickly moved out of my blue funk. Doing something fun or wacky can help you to be happy every day.

9. Forgive. If you harbor anger or bitterness toward someone, you are only hurting yourself. Let go of anger and bitterness and forgive, even if the person doesn't deserve to be forgiven. Reconcile with the person if at

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