As Christians, we must understand that God wants us to be happy and to rejoice. Unfortunately, many people struggle with discovering that sense of happiness and joy. So, is it possible to be happy all the time? If so, what do we need to do first before we can be happy? As you see below, being happy all the time is actually much simpler than many people realize. It doesn’t require us to have the perfect partner, the high status job, fascinating hobbies, or a fat bank account. The secret to happiness lies within our own mind.
Why External “Things” Will Never Make You Truly Happy
One of the biggest misconceptions about happiness is that if we only acquired the right “things”, we could be happy. People tell themselves different stories about what they need to have in order to be happy. It might be a prestigious six-figure job, an interesting new hobby, or their dream romantic partner. All of these things are great ambitions to pursue, but they are not the secret to being happy. The right person may make us happy some of the time, but when we are alone we may feel miserable or lonely. We may enjoy a particular hobby, but we can only practice it for a certain number of hours each day. Having a higher income can relieve some of our material problems, but ultimately we soon become used to this new income and it no longer provides the same sense of happiness.
Becoming Distracted From Unhappiness
One of the ways we can tell that happiness occurs only in our minds is our ability to
become distracted from it. You may have had this experience in the past when
you’ve been worried about or stressed over a particular situation. You may have sat
down and watched an enthralling movie. For a few hours, you were transported
away from your worries. But think about this – your situation didn’t change while you
were watching the movie. What did change was that you were distracted from your
own unhappiness. The thoughts in your mind were no longer focused on your
unhappiness, allowing you to enjoy your life.
Discovering The Causes of Unhappiness
It may seem strange, but in order to be happy you first need to think about what is
making you unhappy. It is our unhappy thoughts that rob joy from our life. Right now,
you can make a list of the things that are making you unhappy. Ask yourself what
thoughts you are having on a constant basis that are making you feel insufficient,
sad, resentful, or anxious about your future. You can also ask yourself what negative
thoughts you are having about other people, and how people perceive you.
Identifying the unhappy thoughts you are having is the first step to eliminating them.
Why Unhappy Thoughts Are Not True
We give power to unhappy thoughts when we believe them. For example, many
people have negative thoughts about their own capabilities and aspirations. It is easy
to be locked in a cycle where it seems as though everything you do is a failure. We
have these thoughts because we tend to concentrate on the negative events and
discount those that are positive. By focusing more on the positive elements of our
own personalities and successes we’ve had in the past, we can start to dispel
unhappy thoughts about ourselves. Understand that when you are thinking
negatively about yourself, you are choosing to adopt a certain perception. An equally
true perception would be that you are a capable individual that can achieve your
aspirations through hard work and perseverance. If you want to start getting rid of
unhappy thoughts, you need to stop believing in them.
The reason that we are frequently unhappy is because we never recognize and
question our thoughts. These negative thoughts instead become our accepted
perception of reality. The fact is though, if these thoughts are examined in detail we
invariably find that they are invalid. There is no reason to continue to live a life of
suffering. Instead, you can choose to live a life of happiness and joy as God intended
by taking back control of your thoughts.
If you are struggling with negative thoughts that still your peace of mind and joy, Christian meditation can help you to take control of your thoughts.