I have taken it upon myself to conduct an experiment—unofficially, of course, but an experiment, nonetheless. For the past week, I have avoided news sites in an effort to determine how it affects my view of things. Surprisingly, I have found the results quite startling.
Before revealing my findings, I would like to talk a bit about how to avoid being unhappy. I can write about this now because a few years ago I went through days when I had allowed dark clouds to dictate how I felt. It was not after several attempts at learning key coping skills, however, that I am now fully aware of what triggers the moodiness.
With that in mind, here are three tips to help you avoid being unhappy.
1. Stay Clear of Self-Absorbed People
You know the ones of whom I am referring. These folks have nothing but drama in their lives. They cannot seem to look beyond themselves to acknowledge others are living on this planet, too.
I am not talking about people who look to do good in spite of common challenges. I am pointing my finger at narcissists, whose only world is their own. They expect others to worship their every grand accomplishment regardless of their rather ordinary existence.
Avoid these people like used serving bowls, which appear clean on the outside, but are filthy from within. They want you to feel sorry for them because their self-esteem is shattered. They want you to be their strength because they cannot muster enough of it themselves.
And if you do not supply them with their needs, they will move on to those who can.
Run away. You will be happier without them in your life.
2. Be Thankful for at Least One Positive Thing Today
Something incredible happens when you become aware of your surroundings. You learn to see the good, and you change for the better.
Since early February, I have resolved to be thankful for at least one positive thing daily.
As silly as it sounds, when I think about how eating a piece of cheese could brighten my day, I appreciate the experience more than anything I could ever imagine doing in this entire world.
Catching the train on time, listening to a favorite song, the weather cooperating during an event, traffic being light during the journey home, and other things, could mean the difference between unhappiness and being grateful to be alive.
Find that one thing to be thankful for today and cherish the moment. It is another step toward remaining in that positive mindset you so desire.
3. Give God the Glory
I was sick for several days this winter, but you would not have known it had I not told you. That is because throughout the entire ordeal I was giving God the glory.
Why is it we cry out to God whenever we need him? Why can we not pray and thank him every day simply for the very breath that flows in our lungs?
I have grown to include God in every aspect of my life—not because I have to, but because I want to. I realize he has made me, and he has sent his only son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for all the evil things I have done on this earth since the first drop of blood coursed through my veins.
Once I came to the realization God is the only one who will lead me out of illness and into unbound prosperity and health, it is easy to give him the glory for everything that happens in my life.
And if I should so find myself suffering for something he deems me worthy to suffer, then I will not hold back my praise for his awesome kindness toward me. He always has a reason why I should go through the things he puts me through—either to make me better in this life or the next.
God always has a reason.
Getting back to my little experiment of late—you know, the one about my avoiding news sites this past week?
As strange as it may sound, the longer I lingered on a news site, the more I felt my mood shift from bright and cheery to sullen and downcast.
That is correct. Today’s news is a drag.
Conversely, I also found that when I read about how people had achieved a milestone in their lives—a birth, a graduation, a wedding—my view remained sunny and filled with hope.
Coincidence? Perhaps. But certainly, my experience is something I would not dismiss as trivial. As unscientific as it is, this experiment has taught me to be extra careful with what I feed this puny brain of mine. This pinkish mass in my skull has to last me a lifetime. I cannot play with it in such a way that it would affect my mood, which in turn would affect others who come in contact with me.
Therefore, although this is something I am learning now, I will list this point separately.
Feed your mind with good things and watch your day transform for the better.
11 thoughts on “3 Tips You Can Use to Avoid Being Unhappy”
Amen! Brilliant blog! “Whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of a good report – if there be any virtue and anything praiseworthy…think on these things.” Philippians 4:8 Don’t own a TV. Don’t want one. Don’t need one.
Good to see you again, Jack !
We have to CHOOSE to be happy. Amazing how many people wake up expecting to be miserable ( or at least disappointed with their daily lives ) – & they fulfill their own ” prophecy “, myself included at times.
It was looking like echo. Absolutely agree with you and do share this thought with everyone, especially point 2 and 3. This do its own bit.
Apart from this, another way is : DO YOUR BIT. Do think of what is in your hand, what is in your control (like stop sleeping late) vs. What is not in your control (like government policies) – This help you focus and keep yourself active and evolve. It provides kind of achievement as you utilize your time at its best. If you think you wish to read more on this, then read Stephen covey book 7 Habits.
I really enjoyed this post! Thank you. 🙂 PS – I stopped watching television many years ago – although I do watch things on Netflix from time to time – and I almosr never tune into the news. I think I’m a more joyful person because of it!
I filter the news I take in. Too MUCH negativity.
I actually don’t watch the news at all! I haven’t had cable television in over 10 years, and I’m very careful about what information I allow to have access to my mind. I find that I’m a lot more peaceful when I tune out the negativity and fear, too.
I learned not to deal with other people’s BS a long time ago. At one point I even considered taking my own life because of other people and I thought I was alone. I’m thankful everyday to see my kids grow, and be happy. That makes me happy and that’s good enough for me. I’m Atheist so I obviously don’t agree with point number 3 :), but I mean no disrespect to you, or anyone else’s, faith in God.
I am totally not surprised with the results of your experiment. I quit facebook two months ago and my life ( and outlook on life ) has ” radically ” changed. It really shocked me.
Thanks for the reminders my friend.
All great points. Especially giving God the glory 🙂
Few but great tips that always bring happiness. What a great post and I love it.