There’s nothing more beautiful than the joy on a child’s face as they run and play without a care in the world. They don’t fret long over what’s gone wrong, and forget easily about most transgressions. As you gaze into their little faces, one can’t help but feel a sense of appreciation for the simple things in life I.e, sharing a good laugh with a friend, the warmth of the sun on your face, or dancing to your favorite song… We should all take a cue from little children and “get happy!”
Matthew 18:3-4 tells us, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Suffice to say, if true happiness is rooted in the joy of the Lord, what is happiness? And how can happiness change your perspective in life?
According to a recent report from Psychology Today, true happiness is defined as “a state of well-being that encompasses living a good life—that is, with a sense of meaning and deep satisfaction.” A growing body of research also suggests that happiness can improve your physical health. Feelings of positivity and contentment seem to benefit cardiovascular health, the immune system, inflammation levels, and blood pressure, among other things. Happiness has even been linked to a longer lifespan—providing more years to continue striving for fulfillment. Attaining happiness is a global quest.
For some, happiness is based merely on “happenstance”—that which is happening in the here and now; a circumstance that is derived by chance. To put it in layman’s terms, just suppose you were invited to a party and you’ve already made up in your mind not to attend because you don’t have a date. By chance, you wind up going and you just so happen to meet someone of interest whom you really like. Suddenly you find yourself really “happy” that you decided to go, right?
Unknowingly, we can diminish happiness to just a fleeting moment, or a lucky “I decided to go.” But here’s something to think about: instead of turning the state of being happy into a circumstantial event, why not place your trust in the unchangeable and unshakable creator of real joy?
Psychology Today also argues, “The way to achieve happiness is not the result of bouncing from one joy to the next. Researchers find that achieving happiness typically involves times of considerable discomfort. Emerging evidence from the journal of Personality and Social Psychology Review suggests that discomfort and pain may enhance the pleasure and happiness we derive from life. Pain promotes
pleasure and keeps us connected to the world around us. Experiencing a relief from pain not only increases our feelings of happiness, but also reduces our feelings of sadness.
Money is also important to happiness, but only to a certain point. Money buys freedom from worry about the basics in life—housing, food, and clothing. Genetic makeup, life circumstances, achievements, marital status, social relationships, even your neighbors—all influence how happy you are. Research shows that much of happiness is under our personal control. Regularly indulging in small pleasures, getting absorbed in challenging activities, setting and meeting goals, maintaining close socialites, and finding a purpose beyond oneself all increase life satisfaction.”
The fact of the matter is, real happiness comes when we unselfishly bring happiness into the lives of others. How do you do that? Start small, with random acts of kindness that would bring a smile to someone’s face. Happiness can also be found in the simplest of gestures, like a pleasant greeting, complimenting their attire, or even giving an encouraging word that will bring a smile to their face. God wants you to be happy by allowing his spiritual joy to permeate your entire being till it overflows into every area of your life and even into the lives of others. So, come on, get happy! And when you do, the joy of the Lord will continually be your strength and the catalyst for your happiness.
Charlene A. Berry is a writer and author who inspires readers daily through her inspirational blog http://www.youareworthit1.com