Today, we have a questionable president and wars away from home, so I am always looking for ways to get away and be happier in my own life, including progressing further on my spiritual journey. In wondering what the Church of the New Jerusalem (my church) might have to offer about this, I came upon a very applicable Three Steps to Greater Happiness article on their website.
Here’s my take on the article’s three things you need to do to achieve greater happiness:
Find the hidden blessings in your struggles. This means thinking about how a difficult event taught you a lesson that you carry through today. Pretty intense, right? To examine this idea more closely, the article mentions a quote from The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank regarding her time in hiding during the Holocaust, “I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.” The whole premise of step one is definitely a point I want to remember more often!
Steer your thoughts away from judging others. Instead, reflect positive thoughts toward them. I looked for an outside source in addition to the quotes in the article for this one — I really enjoy spiritual teacher and #1 New York Times Best Seller Iyanla Vanzant’s thoughts to bring this full circle, “When we have peace in our hearts and minds, we draw peace into our lives.” Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little more daily peace, even a minute more? I think so.
Do something! Wipe away the cobwebs in the corners of your mind…you know, where your positive thoughts sometimes go to hide by completing a simple activity to get you motivated. Go for a walk or accomplish a household task, for example, and whatever you do will help you get one step closer to happiness. One of the quotes mentioned by the article is from American author (and member of my church back in the day) Helen Keller, “I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do something I can do.” Taking one action is more helpful than none!
And there you have three ways to move toward being a happier person. How do you create happiness out of the struggles and negative thoughts in your life? I’d love to hear from you — leave me a comment below!