It’s tempting, at times, to look at my life circumstances and say, “Wow, with all of this going on, there’s no way I’m going to feel any joy.”

But the truth is, life’s circumstances have little or no value when it comes to experiencing real joy.

It’s our thoughts about what’s going on that lead us down the path of misery.

We can have joy-filled moments amidst all of life’s foibles and woes as long as we don’t regret our past and project fear into the future.

The past is what it is and the future will always be unknown.

This is not to say that there are not undesirable things going on or that we wouldn’t like things to appear differently some of the time, but…

It’s what goes on between your ears that determines whether or not you will return to joy in a moment or a week or longer.

Here are three ways that will help you climb the shortest distance out of negativity and back to happiness.

  1. Question your mood: Is it high or is it low?

    When you’re in a low mood, life will appear low. You likely only notice your negative thoughts and low feelings in this mood. Here’s when you must stop taking yourself and your thoughts about your experience too seriously. Really, this is the time to allow your mind to clear. It’s like driving in heavy fog when you can’t see the road; you have impaired vision. Your low moods will impair your level of optimism the same as a thick fog. Wait for it to clear and your mood to rise in order to do any further evaluation.

  2. Challenge yourself to practice gratitude.

    Spend some time journaling about all the things you feel grateful for and the people in your life you are fortunate to know. Research shows that even the most pessimistic people will raise their level of optimism by practicing an attitude of gratitude.

  3. Do something kind for someone else.
    There’s nothing quite as effective at lifting you out of the trenches and on your feet as fast as pulling someone out with you. You absolutely will elevate yourself as you elevate others. If you’re upset about this election, find a way to make it right for yourself, and get more involved in a group that you can become aligned with.

No one is happy all the time. It’s really what you practice day-in and day-out that determines how fast you can return to joy. This is how to live your most vibrant life.

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