Dear Reader,

I recently received a question from a reader in which she wrote: “I find it very difficult to be happy … “

What an important question! It actually made me smile. :-) We all want to be happy and are always looking to discover this elusive happiness. Yet most of us are left still looking, never really discovering and maintaining our happiness.

So here are three really short thoughts on how to find more happiness in our life.

1. Recognize It’s All Exactly as It’s Meant to Be

The rabbis question: “Who is wealthy?” And they answer, “One who is happy and content with his lot” (Avot 4: 1).

Being content and happy with ourselves and our circumstances means realizing that there is a Boss in our world who is running it exactly how it’s meant to be. Everything that happens to us, and any circumstances in our life, is exactly how it should be, and will foster the circumstances and journey tailor made for our soul’s growth and development.

It can sometimes be a bitter pill to swallow when we don’t understand how a struggle or hardship is for the best. But if we really internalize this idea, it can be a tremendous comfort and great source of happiness. Though we may not see it as such and may not truly feel that what is happening to us is for our good, in essence, we don’t lack anything, and the Infinite G‑d who is so full of compassion wants only what is beneficial for us.

2. Focus on Another Person

If you find yourself constantly evaluating whether or not you are happy, chances are you won’t be. It’s far better to get busy with helping others—and there are so many others who can use our help.

Bonus points if you can choose to reach out to another in an area that you have a talent or a personal enjoyment. Do you like to bake or cook? Drop off something for someone who is ill or would appreciate your treats. If you like to hike in nature, suggest it to a friend who is feeling down or alone.

Your concentration will no longer be on yourself. Surprisingly, the more you do for others, the more you will find yourself feeling so much happier.

3. Act Happy

One last idea: Act happy, even if it’s not real—even if, at first, it feels like an act. The more you act happy, the more you will find that it has an impact on your frame of mind. You will no longer feel unhappy, but your act will actually become you.

So smile. Laugh. Do things that bring you happiness. Get busy helping others. And feel grateful for the beautiful life that your Creator has given you!

Chana Weisberg
Editor, TJW