What if I told you that you can choose to be happy? No matter what you are feeling; jealousy, anger, depression, or anxiety; you can choose not to feed into these emotions. You can choose to not let them consume you an affect your thinking. You can choose to be happy.
In a recent video (Dan Gilbert’s TED talk “Why am I happy”). He essentially states:
Anyone can be happy no matter what they are going through. This is because happiness is about perception of your circumstances, you can literally choose to be happy. Meaning that there are some really broke people out there in the world that are choosing to be happy over some really rich people. There are some really sick people out there choosing to be happier than healthy people. Because the people who chose to be happy have mastered learning how to perceive their circumstances and understand the basic premise of choosing to be happy versus being overwhelmed by their circumstances.
So if you can choose to be happy, then that means that you can choose NOT to be sad, depressed, angry, or anxious. All these emotions are emotions that will eat you from the inside out if you do not to get a hold of them. That is why you see people in a state of permanent depression, because it has gotten so out of control and has been in them for so long that they can no longer control it. They cannot separate themselves from the depression and therefore they become the depression.
Have you met someone that was just a really jealous and insecure person? As a result of their own insecurities they put other people down or stab other people in the back. It really has nothing to do with the other person, but everything to do with the jealous person (You can check out my blog here on dealing with jealousy). The Bible teaches us that anger gives a strong foothold to the devil (Ephesians 4:27). People who cannot manage it properly can become insane. All you have to do is watch a few episodes on the channel Investigative Discovery to see that because of anger and jealousy, people kill other people. Anger drive people to do crazy and unimaginable things.
But it does not have to be that way.
For the Bible also teaches us resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7). All these negative emotions you feel are of the devil. God wants you to be happy. And God also gave us free will. The wonderful thing that separates us humans from the mammals around us is that we are more sophisticated in our emotions. When a lion is hungry, they go out and kill other animals to feed their hunger. But people are not like that. We can control our hunger and if we can control our hunger then we can control our other emotions.
So here is how you can choose to be happy
Find something to be thankful about.
There is something that everyone can be thankful for. No matter how much you think your life sucks, somebody else’s life sucks even more, and they would be glad to have what you have (see my blog here). So even if you can be thankful for having clean water to drink that day, food to eat so that you do not starve, or even the fact that you have an air mattress to sleep on instead of sleeping outside. Be thankful for that, because there are a lot of people in this world who do not even have that. Being thankful helps change your perception and makes you realize that no matter how bad you have it, there is someone out there who has it worse and would love to change places with you.
Put things into perspective
Whatever it is that you are angry, jealous, or sad about keep things into perspective. When I lost a close family member at 3 months old (see blog here). I thought that it was unfair. But as a Christian I had to believe that he was in heaven and that I would see him again. And that helped alleviate my sadness. If you are angry or jealous, then you must understand that nine times out of ten that the people you are angry and jealous over simply do not know or care. So why waste your energy on it. And for anxiety, realize that there are always things in this Earth that you cannot control. Whatever is going to be, will be, and therefore there is no reason to be anxious for anything. Control what you can and what you can’t let go and let God. And always keep things in perspective. Most of the things we make a big deal about will not really matter the next day or the next year.
Talk To Yourself or Affirmations
I once knew a guy who suffered from hallucinations. Every day he had to tell himself, this is not real. There are no aliens walking around in my front yard. That is impossible. Yes it was a daily struggle but sometimes you have to talk yourself out of the negativity that you are you feeling. You have to literally tell you self
“Today I will chose to be positive, happy, and today will be a good day.”
You may not feel this way at first, but the longer you say it, and the more you try to believe it. What ever it is you are struggling with, come up with affirmations that counter you issue. Your words have meaning (click my blog here) The more you say it, the more what you say will become your reality.
Mediation and Prayer
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-8
God is always with you. And even if you walk through the valley in the shadow of death He is still there with you. He is with you through the dark times and through the bad emotions. So why not give all of it to him. When you pray give all the negative emotions to God and trust that he will take care of it.