When Happiness Doesn't Seem Like A ChoiceSome people say “happiness is a choice!” I am not one of those people.  Sometimes I wake up still feeling tired.  Other times I wake up and my mind starts racing.  Stress sets in.  I may be thinking of all of the things I have to get done that day.  Happiness doesn’t feel like a choice when you have to fast for a doctor’s appointment where they will be taking blood.  It doesn’t feel like a choice when someone rear ends your car and instead of having fun on your day off you have to get your car fixed.  There are many situations life throws at us that make it pretty difficult to smile and keep going.
Here’s the thing: I don’t want to be a negative person.  I don’t want to be the kind of person who is crushed by every daily annoyance.  The kind of person that brings down an entire room. I call those rain cloud people.

How do we combat negativity on days that are seemingly against us?

I like to think of it as a change in attitude.  As cheesy as it sounds, I try to have an “attitude of gratitude.”  For everything that is against me, I think of a blessing in my life.  This doesn’t change the whole world into sunshine and unicorns, but it at least makes the day less gray.  Here are some things I think when life is against me:

  1. What am I thankful for today?  What blessings are in my life?  Maybe I have to go to the doctor’s office, but at least I am healthy.  Yes, someone rear ended my car, but I am ok and cars can be replaced.  This seems like a big deal today, but it will not be a big deal in a few weeks.
  2. Am I trusting God today?  Am I so caught up in my own problems that I am not thinking of God’s will or anyone else?  Just because I am having a bad day doesn’t mean I have to negatively interact with the nurse at the doctor’s office or the car technician.  They are helping me.  I need to trust that God has given me a trial, and what attitude I handle it with reflects on my faith.  He gives me years filled with blessings, I can take on this day filled with annoyances.
  3. I should approach my life with an attitude of love.  This means I have to change my focus off of myself and see others.  When we start living for God we start realizing that our lives make a different through each little interaction we have.  If I can share God’s light with other people through my attitude of love, I am helping make the world a better place.

The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him. Psalms 32:10

Realistically life has some days that are much better than others.  But when a not so good day comes around, we do have a choice.  We can let an avalanche of negativity fall on our lives, or we can stop, count our blessings, and approach life from a perspective of love.