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Find Your Own Path On This International Day of Happiness


Photo by D Jonez on Unsplash

When was the last time you were truly happy? The Miriam Webster dictionary defines happy as "feeling or showing pleasure or contentment." It also goes on to talk about having a sense of confidence in a person, place or thing as well as being willing to do something. I think for many of us, we struggle with all of the above. The feelings, the contentment, the confidence.. are all connected to happiness and are all connected to how we react in a world that is full of unhappiness. 

It's very hard to think and feel happy in our society, isn't it? We are bombarded with bad news, illness, frustrations, and anger often abounds in various situations. Those things can throw us off kilter, causing us to lose sight of our happiness. I'm not saying we have to be happy every single moment of every single day. We are human with free will and emotions, so I'm pretty sure that's impossible. But when we choose to look at situations differently, when we choose to brush off the frustrations and not let it build up to anger, we might regain some of our happiness back! Yes, there are real horrors and medical conditions that prevent happiness from occurring, so I don't want to be trite thinking that someone with depression can "suddenly be happy".. but I also know that sometimes if we look at life with our half full glasses, we might react differently too! 

As a children's and teen's youth director, I see a myriad of happiness amid their tired eyes and hazy confused looks. It doesn't seem much to make the children's faces light up when I ask them about their weeks, what their favorite things were, etc. 

For teens, it's much more difficult. The teens and young adults in our lives face so much more pressure, anxiety (both social and academic), and even depression than I would consider myself having faced at their age. It's hard to determine when they are truly happy and when they are faking it behind sarcastic comments and the need to put on a show. 

In youth group yesterday, they all the chance to be kids again, if they so chose to partake in it, with games, free time, and fellowship. It was a chance for them to explore their own identities, just "be" who God created them to be, and not have to worry about any pressures placed upon them.. to talk, to learn, etc. 

For many of us, the outside societal expectations placed upon our lives to succeed (and each of us can define success is in our own ways) distracts us from finding our true happiness. 

I hope that today, that this week, you can place all of those expectations aside. Find out what brings you pure happiness, pure joy, and shoot for it. Maybe you need to go listen to Pharrell Williams "Get Happy Song". Blast the radio with your favorite music to uplift your spirits. Exercise to get some endorphins pumping. 

Action for Happiness has a great calendar to get you started along with lots of mindful moments and opportunities to partake in! Today, focus on what makes you happy! Then focus on what makes others happy as well.. you never know how that could impact your own happiness! Action for Happiness currently has 368,922 members from 191 countries that are trying to impact the way we live with happiness and kindness. 

How will you impact your life? Your family's lives? The lives of those in your circles and communities? Go on and find your happiness today!

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