Make a “happy list”

Find something good and that you love in your life. Focus on it. Devote more time to it and you will show God more appreciation for what you have been given. People say “Focus on the good and don’t dwell on the bad.” I agree with that idea 100%. The Bible also invites us to spend more time thinking about good things than dwelling on the negative. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” is a great recommendation that we find in Philippians 4:8. Can you think of good things you can concentrate on today? Make it a daily priority to ignore the bad and magnify the good. It’s a beautiful way to show gratitude to God since all good things come from Him. 

Ten good things could happen to us in one day and two bad things and we will end up remembering the bad things more. The bad sucks up all of our energy when the good should indeed be the source of our energy. Good feelings keep us going. Bad feelings slow us down and zap our zest for life. I find that even when things are not going well, there are a number of good things I can zero in on. It’s up to me to decide not to amplify the negative things. We often have a choice over what we can think of but we also often think we don’t have a choice. I’m a list guy and I love making lists for all sorts of things. I just created a happy list. It’s a list of the good that is taking place in my life on a daily basis. I keep a journal of my daily experiences and I just added a new section. I am going to write three different good things every day. I can’t repeat the same things twice during the week. This will force me to really scrutinize my life and recognize every big and small good things. There is so much good in the small things too. 

The more we think of the good in our lives the more we realize that God is indeed active in our lives and He wants us to have good things. I can’t control a lot of things but I can control how I will handle a lot of things. I can control my attitude. I can control my approach to the good and the bad. I take the bad and turn it over to the Lord. Prayer is the best way for me to deal with the bad. If you have other ways that work for you, by all means use them and keep them close by for the next storm. Your umbrella of protection probably looks different from mine but it is an umbrella nonetheless. I know of someone who has to be left alone when things hit him hard and it works well for him. He just spends alone time with God on a walk usually. Come up with a happy list. That list will come in handy almost every day. I can guarantee that. Put family members, friends, beautiful moments on that list. Whatever is good, noble and pure belongs on that list. Focus on it. It will reduce your anxiety and the stress of every day. Stay focused!

Suggested reading: James 3:17; Romans 12:9-21; Titus 2:7


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