7 Steps Toward being Happy
Step One: Happiness begins on the inside
Before I list some practical steps toward being happy I want to lay a biblical foundation because happiness is not based on outward circumstances only, but on an inward attitude. Jesus declared in John 10:10 -11 The thief comes but for to steal kill and destroy, but I am come that you might have life and life more abundantly (KJV). The Greek word for life in this text is "Zoe" or the God kind of life. The God kind of life begins on the inside when man becomes born again according to 2 Corinthians 5:17 which reads if any man be in Christ he is a new creature or creation, old things are passed away and behold all things are become new (KJV). Once a persons heart has been changed, happiness is exemplified because relationship has just begun with the creator of the universe. Hard and trying circumstances in a persons life have not changed because of this experience, but a person can now cast those cares on Jesus according to 1 Peter 5:7 (Casting all your care on him because he cares for you) instead of carrying the problem oneself. Unhappy people fall into the trap of trying to fix everything which causes worry and frustration when they cannot solve various issues.
Step Two : Enjoy where you presently are
For many people future goals equal happiness. It is amazing how many people base their happiness in some future event. They may say when I finally finish college I can find a high paying job and be happy, or when I meet that right person and get married I will be happy. When I get my dream home I will be happy, and the list goes on. In each one of these examples the present is missing. Some of the most memorable and precious moments are in the present and will be forgotten if not focused on. Enjoying the moment is to not complain but to be content with where one is until getting to where one is going. 1 Timothy 6 says that godliness with contentment is great gain. Contentment is also learning to be thankful, and happy people are thankful people because they realize someone else is worse off than they. The bible says in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thess.5). Notice this verse says give thanks in everything and not give thanks for everything. It would be out of order to give thanks for sickness and disease and other calamities of life, but it is in order to give thanks in the midst of them because the Lord promises that "all things" work together for good to them that love the Lord and to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Being happy during present circumstances is knowing that the Lord is going to bring good out of even the most troubling of circumstances. Faith is required because one cannot walk by sight or else discouragement may set in. Remember to make the most of your day from the time you get up until bedtime because it is time that one will never see again. David declared in the Psalms this is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it. Notice he said I will rejoice and be glad in it because happiness is a direct result of a persons will. A person can will to be happy and nothing will keep them down and discouraged because they are optimistic about life, or a person can will to be unhappy and always see everything through pessimistic eyes seeing negative in any and everything.
Step Three: Think Positive
Believe it or not a persons thought life reveals who they are. The bible says as a man thinks in his heart so is he. We are to think on good things according to Philippians 4 that are honest, lovely, true, of good report that have virtue and are praise worthy. It only takes one out of place thought to bring unhappiness to an otherwise great day, but thoughts can be replaced with other thoughts. Think on what God says because we are to meditate in the word day and night (Psalm 1, Joshua 1:8).
Step Four: Refrain from hanging with negative people
The old saying birds of a feather flock together is true. Hanging around negative people will only sabotage happiness and cause one to find themselves with a negative attitude.
Step Five: Don't compare
Many times people compare themselves with others and end up unhappy because they may not have what someone else does. Enjoying and getting the most out of what one has takes away the time to compare with others.
Step Six: Love yourself
A person can be very hard on themselves whether it be they don't like their weight, or some other body part. This always leads to unhappiness. If a person can change a situation about themselves they don't like, then do so instead of remaining unhappy and complaining.
Step Seven: Don't Procrastinate
Putting off for tomorrow with what needs to be done today may lead to unhappiness because when something remains unfinished that should be done it brings guilt and condemnation.