What if I told you I had the key to happiness?
While I’m definitely a huge fan of both a good cup of coffee and chocolate chip cookie I’m sad to say our happiness isn’t due in part by eating large amounts of chocolate chip cookies or our consumption of coffee… sad I know. What if I said that we actually all hold the key to happiness? What if I told you that you and only you were responsible for your happiness? Would you believe me? I’ve thought long and hard on this topic and I always come back to the same resolution in my heart.
So let me ask you this what makes YOU happy?
Maybe it’s a hot cup of coffee on a cold day or a little bit of money to go out to dinner versus having to cook dinner for yourself or your family. Maybe it’s spending time with your family. Maybe you’d be happier if you had a bigger house and a little bit more land. Maybe it would be if you lost the baby weight. Maybe you’d be happy if you made more money or had less bills. Maybe you’d be happier in a different marriage or not married at all. Maybe you’d be happier if your children were better behaved or kept their rooms tidy…
Maybe, Maybe, Maybe…
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m sure some of those things would help make you happier but ultimately deep down inside I believe that happiness is a choice. A choice that we wake up and have to make each and every day of our lives. If there’s one thing I know about life it is the fact that things are so unpredictable and I get that (to say the least!). Here are my 7 keys to happiness in no specific order.
7 Keys to Happiness
- Identify what makes you happy. This might take digging. Give yourself some grace this might take some time. Once you find it cultivate it.
- Eliminate the things/people in your life that cause you stress.
- Make yourself a priority. Take care of yourself mind, body and spirit.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. Comparison is the thief of joy.
- Lower your expectations of others while simultaneously increasing your expectations of yourself. Do not let others dictate YOUR happiness.
- Identify the lies that you’ve been telling yourself for so many years (I’m not smart enough, thin enough, worthy enough, etc). Also, identify the lies OTHERS have spoken over your life (you’re not a good mom, or wife, etc).
- Disconnect to reconnect. Disconnect from social media and the stressors associated with your life. Allow time away from social media platforms to encourage happiness within your life. Get outside. Pray, meditate on the Word, be present.
The Bible & Happiness
If the quote above “The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts” is true than we must turn our eyes and our hearts to the Lord. It’s only natural, I couldn’t simply write a blog post without mentioning God. Let’s take a closer look at what the Bible has to say about happiness. Automatically Psalms 37:4-6 (NKJV) came to mind:
“Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your ways to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.”
Here David calls us to DELIGHT in the Lord and commit all that we have and all that we do completely to Him (The Lord). Great pleasure and HAPPINESS occurs when we delight in something or someone. This happens when we truly know someone well and we don’t hold back who we are. When we DELIGHT in the Lord we are overcome with joy and happiness. As we experience more of GOD in our lives and understand how great His LOVE is for us we can find rest and happiness in Him.
The process of committing ourselves and our happiness to the Lord isn’t easy but, when we do, we trust in His good and perfect plan for our lives, our families, our jobs, etc. The fact that the Lord cares for us even MORE than we care for ourselves is mind blowing. Can you sense the excitement in my writing?! I delight in a just baked fresh out of the oven warm chocolate chip cookie or 3 and coffee. Boy does even the thought of this sweet treat make me smile! Can you even begin to imagine how much more THE MAKER OF THE UNIVERSE delights in US?! He seriously cares for us; every single detail. He cares about our happiness! 1 Peter 5:7 (NLV) “Give all your worries to Him because he cares for you.”