Five Steps to a Happier You

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We all tend to define happiness in different terms. For some, it’s a euphoric feeling when circumstances are ultra-fantastic. For others, happiness may be on the scale somewhere between joy and delight when we are with people we love or in a job for which we are passionate. Still others, may define happiness as a clean bill of health or a pain-free day. Whatever your definition of happiness is, you don’t need to wait for the right set of circumstances to experience it. Here are five positive steps to help you create your own happiness right where you are.

 

Gratitude Journal – Begin a daily routine of writing down at least five things for which you are grateful.  Be specific and think about the people you met or the small joys you experienced over the last 24 hours. Go one step further and consider the blessings you can find in the challenges you are currently facing. Your mindset and perspective will begin to change as you choose to focus on what is good in your life, rather than what is frustrating to you.

 

Kind Actions – If you want to do a happy dance, do something to make another person happy. When you elevate others through your words or actions, you can’t help but experience a sense of delight. Whether it is a smile, or holding the door open or helping a co-worker or neighbor with a project, when you give kindness it will be returned to you in heaping doses of happiness.

 

Regular Exercise – Get up and get moving. Whether you go for a walk in the park, grab a short jog on the treadmill or stretch and do Pilates on your bedroom floor, exercise has a proven track record of releasing endorphins (the happy hormone in your brain) and providing a release from stress. As you form a habit of exercising at least five days a week, you will not only feel better physically, but you will experience emotional benefits as well.

 

Alone Time – In our overconnected culture, we rarely have time alone to relax, think and pray. We must take deliberate measures to disconnect from technology and have some time to communicate with God and listen for His direction. Stillness rejuvenates our soul. Set aside at least ten minutes a day to put away your phone and devices and spend some alone time with the Lord. Praise Him for His greatness, listen for His direction and cast your cares at His feet.

 

Forgiving Heart – In my opinion, one of the greatest robbers of joy and happiness is a bitter heart, filled with unforgiveness. Every day we have new opportunities to forgive others because every person we encounter has a few flaws or shortcomings. As followers of Christ, we reflect His forgiving nature as we forgive others. Release your resentments into the hands of a just and understanding God. He will heal your wounds and set you on a new path of freedom.

 

Start this week with a new mindset! Fear, anger, self-doubt or a critical spirit are just a few mental attitudes that diminish our joy in life. Identify the negative attitudes that you are allowing to dominate your thinking and make a deliberate effort to change your focus. Begin to live with a mindset filled with victory and hope, rather than defeat and negativity. Apply these five steps to your daily life. You don’t need to sit around and wait for happiness to happen – you can begin the journey on the road to happiness now.

 

This is the last week to order A Woman’s Secret to Confident Living DVD for $5 only available on her website. Click Here for more details.

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Are you a Confident Person?

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Confident? That’s not exactly how I would have described myself for much of my life. Words like “insecure” and “self-doubt” were much more accurate terms. For many years, even as a Christian, I battled self-defeating thoughts and guilt feelings in my mind. Perhaps you can relate to what I’m talking about in your own life. Most women struggle with some form of insecurity. Even women who appear confident on the outside, often struggle internally with a lack of self- assurance. It’s one thing to look confident; it’s another to be confident.

In all honesty, true and lasting confidence is found not in focusing on ourselves, but focusing on the one who created us and discovering our confidence in Him. He is the one who gives us the strength and power to walk boldly in this world.

The word confidence means to have a firm belief or trust. The root word, fidere, means faithful or faith and is the same root you see in words like fidelity or confidant. To have confidence means you have faith or trust in someone or something. Now we can try to live our lives by placing our confidence in our appearance or in a relationship or having the right job or enough money, or being a good parent, but none of these can offer lasting security or inner strength. A God-confidence is different. When we place our hope and security in Him, no one can take it away. It is a rock-solid confidence from the well-spring of our soul.  How do we get to a place where we live with a God-confidence?

The apostle Paul said, “Let your roots grow down deep into Christ.” He penned these words to the early believers living in Colossae as he expressed the importance of knowing Christ and finding satisfaction and security in Him. Confidence begins in our thinking and what we believe, and it plays out through the way we live our life in relationship to God and to others. Our confidence spreads its wings and soars when we realize God has a purpose for our lives, and we use our gifts and talents for His glory.

 

This is an excerpt from Karol’s book A Woman’s Secret to Confident Living.

Check out this month’s $5 special, Karol’s DVD on the topic.

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