When I was young and naive, I actually thought that if you chose the right people to be in your life, then they could make you happy.

But as time passes, you come to realize that no one can make you happy.

It’s a nice thought. Like finding gold at the end of a rainbow. But that’s really all it is: a thought.

Happiness is an emotion. Often it is based on people, places or things and is triggered externally.

Joy is an attitude and more internal. Joy is more of a choice.

Contentment is a longer lasting feeling of happiness. It is feeling gratitude for what you have and finding satisfaction in your life.

Sometimes people think that having more money will make them happier.  Money up to a point certainly helps you feel more secure. Maybe less stressed. But studies show that people who win the lottery are no more happy than anyone else.

If you look at the glass as half full, you will be happier than if you see it as half empty. And that is because of your attitude about life in general. 

Attitude is everything.


1. Think positively. When negative thoughts creep in, stop the thought and rewind. Turn your thoughts to positive things in your life.

2. Smile, even if you don’t feel like smiling. You will find that people you pass on the street will smile back. It becomes a cycle.

3. Go out into nature. Watch and listen. Push all thoughts away and just enjoy what you are experiencing.

4. Think about the things you are grateful for. Gratitude is a wonderful attitude adjuster.

5. Do something creative. Paint something or plant something in the garden. Be proud of your accomplishment no matter how small it is.

The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things. – Henry Ward Beecher


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  1. Purchase a little notepad and every day before you retire, post one thing that was good about your day. Did someone smile at you in the grocery store or pharmacy? Did someone open the door for you when you had your hands full of packages? Did someone slow down so you could drive your car into the lane you wanted to turn into? Then if you ever have a really rough day take that little pad and read of all the good things that have happened to you. A lot of little blessings read when you are sad or angry will temper your attitude and you will feel blessed again…
    Your ‘5 Ideas to Experience Joy’ were right on, Brenda. A really good post today!

  2. Thanks for the reminder that joy, happiness, contentment do not come from external things but from the attitudes we carry inside us. I needed this reminder today as I was feeling very blah and discouraged. There are certain uncomfortable situations and attitudes that seem outside my abilities to change and lead to great frustration for me–when I let them. Today was one of those days when I let them. I’d forgotten to be grateful for all the good things in my life and to give thanks. So, you hit the nail on the head with this post, Brenda! Thanks again.

  3. My goodness; I have so much to be grateful for:
    I’m not blind and I can see flowers, sunsets, those I love.
    I’m not wondering where my next meal is coming from.
    I have shelter from the cold–or heat.
    I have two (semi-) good feet and am able to walk.
    I have people who care about me, and….
    I have my little dog in whose eyes I can do no wrong.
    I concentrate on these things.

  4. Always remember there are three ways to look at a half full glass,,
    Full, not full or both. The third choice Adds to your life

  5. I always find that if I’m having an ‘off’ day the sounds and smells of nature will revive me. A few minutes outdoors listening to the birds, the wind in the trees, the windchimes, the trickle of the creek – it does wonders for my soul!

  6. Hi Brenda, and thank you for this post. I have many blessings but :forget: them sometimes when life gets stressful! Like you, I have two little dogs (spoiled rotten :), and they make me smile and bring me joy every day I am new to your blog but am really enjoying it; I find it so inspiring in many ways.

  7. Love this post…… There truly is a BIG difference between happiness and joy…. This post is such a great reminder !!! I choose Joy

  8. I really needed this post at this point in my life, as I tend to rush through life without really experiencing it. A special thank you for reminding me. I’ll definitely be printing this post and saving it…

  9. I am a firm believer that you choose your own happiness and it comes from within. Anything that contributes to that on the outside is a bonus. Wasn’t it Lincoln that said “most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be”? I think there is a lot of truth in that statement. xo Diana

  10. Sweet post Brenda. I always think about what I am grateful for in this life and that brings me joy.
    Even with all the hardships life hands out there is always things to be grateful for and that brings so much joy. Have a great Thursday.

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