Everybody wants to be happy, but many people don’t realize that happiness has to start with “you.” If you’re not content with your life and at peace with yourself… no amount of money… no number of possessions… will ever make you truly happy. True happiness comes from learning to enjoy the life you are living right now and learning to appreciate all the wonderful things you have at this moment. Living for a future time and yearning for the things you don’t have will never make you happy.

So what can we do to promote a cheerful attitude and feel happier?

  • Slow down and notice the little things. This might be as simple as enjoying the scent of the soap in your morning shower, or the way the air feels after a rain. Feeling happy about a lot of little things throughout the day adds up and contributes to an overall feeling of contentment and happiness.
  • I think that the spiritual part of your life is very important and that everyone needs to believe in something bigger than they are. As a Christian, I know that God is greater than any problem I am ever going to have, and for me this is a great source of peace.
  • Build a close relationship with the people in your family and remember that they are the most important people in your world. Quality time comes out of quantity time, and often at the most unexpected moments. Treat your family with respect. Be thoughtful and kind and remember that words (even carelessly said) can hurt.
Hostas in the garden at the side of our house
  • Avoid jealousy and try to be forgiving. Harboring bad feelings or grudges can do you a lot of emotional harm. It may help to remember that you are who you are because of EVERYTHING that has happened to you… good and bad… and that even the most hurtful things you have experienced have made you a stronger, more resilient person.
  • Be honest with yourself and others. Don’t be manipulative in your relationships, and don’t lie or be deceptive. Dishonesty is a drain on your soul. Know what your values are and try to live up to them in everything you do.
  • Keep your mind and body active. Try to stretch yourself mentally, even if it is just with a crossword puzzle or a game of Sudoku. Take a walk or do something physically challenging on a regular basis. Physical activity and mental stimulation are good for your health and your state of mind and will help you maintain a positive outlook on life.
  • Set long term goals and work towards them. These goals don’t have to be on a grand scale, but planning ahead to the future brings optimism and a sense of purpose to your life.
  • Give yourself and your family a special treat once in a while. Do something a little bit out of the ordinary. It takes little effort to turn ordinary days into memorable days.
  • Stay close to nature as much as you can. There is a satisfaction in working with growing and living things that you will never get from anything else.
  • Most of all, dwell on what is good about your life NOW. Appreciate the day-to-day positives in your life NOW. Don’t be so busy looking for happiness in the future that you miss out on the happiness you could be having today.

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Great article. When I’m frustrated, bored or upset, it’s great to find little reminders like these to help me to remember to just relax and let go.


Some wonderful thoughts here. I like the way you put all your ideas together, and I really like your philosophies. Great job!


How true! You’re especially right about the ‘now’ part. Too many people do all their living for the future. The future might never come! The only time you can be sure of is right now!


Stretching yourself mentally is the part that strikes me. I’ve been trying to do that myself on a day by day basis – not just to keep myself in good spirits but because my mother’s family has alzhiemers in it and I want to keep my mind sharp. Great article. I’ll be back.


I am a bit stress today from work. This is my first time to visit this link and its worth reading all the items. This article helps me to escape for a while. Its very true that we must live enough everyday and don’t worry too much of the future. Keep it up and godbless.


this is exactly what i have been looking for. thank you for the great article, you have no idea how much this has helped me


i like all your posts and can relate to a lot you have tried so successfully to convey about voluntary simplicity….i can reflect upon my decisions in life and can now decipher that every time life brought me at a juncture and i chose my way..it was a simple one for me.


So true! I really enjoyed reading this. The one about appreciating the little things especially spoke to me.


I think the now part is key, most people think that ill do it tomorrow. well what if tomorrow doesn’t come,
and if you have older parents or grand parents spend as much time as you can with them, because you will never know when they might finally be gone

Dave (Poppio)

I just found your web site.I will be spending a lot of time here.
Why not wear or use that item you are saving for a “special occasion” today?
Today is the only Today you will have.
Tomorrow it will be yesterday.

Todd C.

That’s a really cute picture! I can’t believe I’m saying this but the frog does look happy. Great post.


Hello, I stubbled upon your site while looking for a chocolate cake recipe. I am thankful I found your because it contains no eggs. My 8 yr old son, who is allergic to them, loved your cake. Lots of wise words in this site. Thank you for sharing your knowledge amd experiences. – a stay at home mom. :)


I love your site. A great deal of it reminds me of the age old wisdom of my Aunts and my Grandmother. This is the way they lived and these are the people I try to use as role models. I also love the fact that I don’t have to wade through Facebook or Twitter to leave a comment.


Hi Shirley
What a lovely place you have here! :)
I found your site by looking for some info on cooking with my woodstove but find that you have also ministered to my heart!
I’m struggling with not letting financial problems destroy my happiness as we are finally living our simple dream life on the homestead.
Your gentle words remind me that happiness comes from within!
God Bless!