Happiness is a state of mind.  It is a way of looking at life.  Is the glass half-full or half empty?  Am I a victor or a failure?  Is life mostly good or mostly bad? 

Is the way we look at life nature or nurture?  Well it’s both, kind of.  Some of us are born with the tendency to lean positive and others negative. 

But ….. You are what you think …. Happy or sad…. Joyful, angry, fearful, courageous, full of faith or depressed by doubt.  Your mind controls your feelings and your actions.  You can change your attitude.  If you have been a negative person your whole life or you struggle with depression it will be harder for you than for others. 

But …. you can turn it around in your mind

The apostle Paul wrote, …let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Rom 12:2

David Jeremiah wrote in his book Turning Toward Joy a list of habitual thoughts or ways of looking at life that will guarantee unhappiness.

  1.  Make little things bother you; don’t just let them, make them.
  2. Lose your perspective of things, and keep it lost.  Don’t put first things first.
  3. Get yourself a good worry–one about which you cannot do anything but worry.
  4. Be a perfectionist: Condemn yourself and others for not achieving perfection.
  5. Be right, always right, perfectly right all the time.  Be the only one who is right and be rigid about your rightness.
  6. Don’t trust or believe people, or accept them at anything but their worst and weakest.  Be suspicious.  Impute ulterior motives to them.
  7. Always compare yourself unfavorably to others, which is the guarantee of instant misery.
  8. Take personally, with a chip on your shoulder, everything that happens to you that you don’t like.
  9. Don’t give yourself wholeheartedly or enthusiastically to anyone or to anything.
  10. Make unhappiness the aim of your life, instead of bracing for life’s barbs through a “bitter with the sweet” philosophy.

Do you see yourself on the list?  Just one of these habits will take you down the road of anxiety and depression.

So where do you start?  How do you change the way you think?  How do you renew your mind?

Paul also wrote: “No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom 8:39 

Sounds like a good place to start.