Sickness, natural disasters, death, financial burdens—the list of life’s stressors could go on and on. Yet while we can’t change what happens to us, we can control how we handle it.
When we signed up for time on earth, we signed up for the bitter and the sweet—a whole lot of sadness and a whole lot of joy, all to help shape and mold us into the people our Father in Heaven want us to be. While it is good and healthy to face our emotion—to be sad, angry, or upset about life—I’ve found that choosing to be happy can help make life a little easier.
Here are six ways I have found to cultivate more happiness in life:
Know Your Worth
We are all children of a loving God. This knowledge in and of itself is enough to bring peace and comfort. Jesus Christ performed the atonement for each of us individually—wow! He knows us and can help us. Developing a sense of self-confidence in who we are can play a vital role in our happiness.
A common saying states that “comparison is the thief of joy.” While the grass at times (or even a lot of the time) seems greener on the other side, life is easy for no one. Everyone has struggles and what may appear to be an easy or perfect life could very well be quite the opposite. Trying to think and act as Christ would is always a good gauge for our actions, though we will never be perfect. Choosing not to be offended or judgmental also plays a large role in helping to bring us happiness.
Keep the Spirit Close
When we are baptized and then take the sacrament weekly, we are promised that if we keep the commandments and remember Jesus Christ, we can always have His Spirit to be with us—a member of the Godhead. What a promise! To have a comforter, a guide, a protector with us always is an amazing blessing.
Take Time for Yourself
Get a hobby! Find something new to learn. Read a book, eat some chocolate. Whatever it is, take some time to do something for you. As a mom of two kids ages two and under, I’ve found this to be especially important. The days can be long and monotonous at times, but taking time to refuel is a key to overall happiness. You can’t draw water from an empty well.
Getting outside yourself and serving others is a great key to happiness. A woman I know who recently lost her husband has been out and about ever since, constantly serving and fulfilling needs of others. She is full of light, life, and energy, and service has definitely brought her happiness during a time of grief and sadness. She is choosing to be happy despite her circumstances.
Look for the Blessings
Gratitude is some of the best medicine. Each night before bed, my husband and I write down a tender mercy we saw that day. Some days they’re more hidden than others, but they’re always there. God never leaves us alone.
Life is full of ups and downs every day, and while we can’t control the cards we are dealt, we can control how we play. And I think that’s a pretty happy way to live.
Jessica (Garlick) Dyer currently lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where her husband is pursuing a PhD in Accounting at UNC and is loving all of the great sunshine and basketball that Chapel Hill has to offer. She is a mom two cute little kids and to one angel baby. She graduated from BYU in English Language and Editing but has had the opportunity right now to be at home with the kids and is loving all the crazy and fun that comes with that.