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Have you ever heard someone say, “I woke up on the wrong side of the bed?” I have heard this saying many times. To take it a step further, I have even gotten up on a different side of the bed to test this theory out.
What I soon realized was this: whether I had a good or bad day had nothing to do with what side of the bed I got up on. Instead, it had everything to do with my thought process and how I chose to view the day's challenges.
Many factors go into our thought processes. For example, in the stressful times we live in, many are frustrated because fuel prices are through the roof. In addition, rent and food prices are also at an all-time high.
Others feel pressure as employees, entrepreneurs, college students, parents, caretakers, and so on. That is why it is so important that we have a positive outlook on life. And one powerful way to do this is to think happy thoughts.
What are Happy Thoughts?
Happy thoughts come from previous experiences we once enjoyed and now reflect back on. They are situations that shape how we perceive ourselves and the world around us.
Like positive thinking, happy thoughts improve our overall well-being and help us live more fulfilling lives. These thoughts lower our stress by instantly enhancing our mood and ushering in feelings of happiness and joy.
I often say that it is not so much what happens to us in life, but how we perceive what happens to us. Our thoughts about what happens determine our actions and have a domino effect, positively or negatively.
For example, Steve’s house was unfortunately destroyed by a tornado. He and his family were displaced, and he was distraught. As Steve and his family cleaned up and salvaged what was left of their belongings, he became even more enraged over the condition of their things.
The more he dug through the rubble, the angrier he became. Later, after deciding to take a break from working, he saw that his neighbor across the street appeared to have no damage.
Steve begins to think back on all the unfortunate incidents that have happened to him throughout the years. His family was poor, and on many evenings they lacked food to eat or heat during the winter. He began feeling like the tornado was a sign that defined all the unfortunate incidents that had shaped his life.
However, Steve's wife, Tammy, is known for being a very positive person. As the couple went through their belongings, she reflected on the joyful memories that each piece of their belongings brought to them.
Tammy grew up with a similar background as Steve. But she chooses to have happy thoughts. She became very thankful for the things her family had because she remembered when she had nothing.
Tammy even helped encourage Steve that the most important thing was that they made it out of the storm alive and were all healthy. Furthermore, she consistently expressed gratitude and how she was excited about new beginnings and the ability to make more fond memories.
We can choose to see life's situations as obstacles that hold us back… or opportunities to grow stronger through adversity.
When our boss at work gives performance reviews, we can see them as criticism and take offense or opportunities to be better at what we do. It all has to do with how we process our thoughts.
The way we think causes a chain reaction in our lives. I recently had a conversation with a friend about this very subject. She was upset at everything her husband was doing, good or bad.
When I inquired how she came to that conclusion, she stated that it came from times he had disappointed her throughout the years. And a recent incident where he was dishonest with her pushed her over the edge.
Furthermore, I asked my friend about the positive things he had done throughout the years. She responded that there were some positives, but she questioned if they were real genuine moments or if she was possibly being naive.
Negative thoughts cause us to question everything, even the good times, and reflect poorly on ourselves and others. Moreover, those thoughts usher in a mindset of self-preservation to keep us from feeling the pain of frustration, anger, broken heartedness, and disappointment.
Next, we begin to isolate ourselves so that we are not vulnerable to being hurt in the same manner again. Unfortunately, this reaction has made many of us old, lonely, and bitter.
Having happy thoughts helps us to learn from past experiences. They make us wiser and more forgiving. They can bring out the best in others around us.
Lastly, entertaining negative thoughts is like burning down a house because we saw a trail of ants. As a result, we have nowhere to live and must start all over with nothing. Burning the house down may have solved the ant problem, but now you and your family are greatly distressed.
On the contrary, positive thoughts help us become solutionists when problems arise. So, after some investigation, we found that our child left a half-eaten candy bar sitting around, and it fell into a tight space where no one could see it. That was attracting the ants.
So, the incident became a teaching moment between you and your child. Therefore, you have both learned from the incident. I believe you would agree the second option is less stressful than burning down the house.
35 Happy Thoughts: Positive Things to Brighten Your Day
1. You are giving it your all.
Happy thoughts help to remind you that you always give 100% to everything you set out to do. So, when things don't go as planned, and your experience moments of failure, you can take comfort in knowing you gave it everything you've got.
You know many who don't even try, but you always strive to do your best.
In addition, don't beat yourself up over the mistakes you make along the way. You do the best you can based on the information you have at your disposal. Sometimes the info we have is not enough, but it’s not your fault.
2. There are so many things to be thankful for.
Having an attitude of gratitude and being thankful is powerful. You can reflect on the things and people you have in your life and end negativity that can come in through irritation, frustration, envy, and comparison. In addition, it produces happy thoughts.
Furthermore, when we are thankful, we focus on what we have and pay less attention to what we don't have. Lastly, being grateful helps us be more optimistic, happy, and at peace with where we currently are in the world.
3. Happy thoughts lead to better.
When we have optimistic thoughts, we are more likely to take on new challenges with the expectation of a great outcome. We see new areas of opportunity at every turn. We genuinely feel that we are in control of our own destinies.
Negativity limits us from exploring new possibilities, but happy thoughts give us the confidence to believe in ourselves.
4. You’re alive.
Every day that you wake up is an opportunity to make the world a better place. This could not happen if you were not here. So now is your time to make the best of every situation and live life to the fullest.
You can still touch hearts. You can still achieve great things and make things happen that you have always dreamed of.
5. Life goes on. This, too, shall pass.
No matter what happens in life, good or bad, life goes on. Remembering this fact enables you to move forward without allowing the heartaches and pains of the past to hold you back.
Even if today was an awful day, life goes on, and you can still look forward to amazing things on tomorrow.
6. Everything happens for a reason and a season.
It is so important to know that everything happens for a reason. We may not know the cause and understand why certain things happen but having a positive outlook helps us not to be defeated by our circumstances.
Because even if we don't know exactly why it happened, we know that it only lasts for a season. Things will always change, nothing stays the same, and this dire situation will soon be a thing of the past.
7. I am courageous, not fearful.
Think about it, your life is full of times you have shown the world you were courageous. You did not let fear win when you entered a dance competition, led a song in your college choir, flew on an airplane for the first time, or proposed marriage to your girlfriend. Instead, you were driven by your happy thoughts of the possible outcome.
8. To know me is to love me.
When people get to know you, they love you because of the awesome person you are. You are caring, compassionate, thoughtful, wise, strong, and daring. What is not to love about you?
Most people who don't like you only do so because they don't honestly know the real you. Moreover, they may not care for you because they caught you on a bad day. However, if they could genuinely understand your heart, they would be nuts about you.
9. I am destined for greatness.
There may be obstacles in your way every day, but your greatness is displayed every time you overcome them. You break through them with your innovative ideas, brilliant strategies, and relentless attitude.
Quite frankly, you are unstoppable, and at this rate, you will accomplish great things if you keep these things in mind.
10. Past hurts will not slow me down.
Holding on to past hurts is like walking on a long journey with heavy baggage. Every hurt we don't deal with makes the bag more difficult to carry.
So, to achieve your heart's desires, you need to lay aside some weights you carry so that you aren't dragged down by your past. Remember, the less baggage you have, the more freeing the journey is to make.
11. Happiness is welcomed into my day.
When you set the tone early in your day that you will only have a positive outlook, your day will be better. Of course, opportunities to be negative will come to test your positive mindset.
Still, you will have to work through those situations to remain positive. By having this determination, you are more mindful and purposeful when processing negative things that come your way through the day.
12. It didn’t work out, but I know what to do next time.
Just because you are thinking happy thoughts doesn't mean that bad things won't occur from time to time. However, thinking happy thoughts change our perspective on the thing that happens.
So, when failed attempts at an endeavor happen, you will not be bitter. On the contrary, you will gain knowledge and wisdom that will prove priceless in the future.
13. You deserve to be happy.
If you don't believe you deserve to be happy, you will not pursue things that bring you joy. In addition, you will use it to justify why things went wrong in your jobs and in past relationships.
However, you do deserve to be happy. When you tell yourself this truth, you will gain the confidence to step out and participate in more things in life that you enjoy. You'll take vacations you have always wanted to go on, try new exotic foods, and make great memories that will last a lifetime.
14. The best is yet to come.
When you come out of some of the most challenging days of your life, it gives you great comfort to know that the best is yet to come. Every day you expect things to turn around and the weariness and effects of yesterday to wear off.
Telling yourself this truth daily will be empowering, even if it is the only hope you are holding on to at the moment.
15. I am going to have the proper perspective.
No matter the situation, you can always have a change of perspective. When a dreaded circumstance occurs, take time to reflect. Look to see how your mindset may have affected the outcome.
If you feel you were the victim of your own “stinkin' thinkin',” there is still time to look at things another way and try again from a fresh perspective.
16. I have great instincts.
Those times in life when we are blindsided by catastrophe opens a wide door for us to walk fear and frightening thoughts of “what if” to flood our minds. In addition, many in this situation also blame themselves for “letting this thing happen,” as if they could tell the future.
However, reaffirming that you have great instincts takes the unfair blame off you. You don't know everything. None of us do.
17. You don’t have to be like everyone else.
Dare to be different. You have been trying to do things the way others have done them in the past, and it's simply not working. You are frustrated and doubting your own abilities.
However, you were not made to be a copy of anyone else but an original version of yourself. That is what the world needs, something unique, something special, someone like you.
18. Focus on things that matter.
Everyone has an opinion of who you are and what you should do. If you get caught up in those things, you will be “running around like a chicken with your head cut off,” as southerners say.
Don’t fear failure or what others may say or think. Instead, be true to who you are and what matters to you. As best-selling author Frances Chan puts it in his book “Crazy Love,”
“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.”
19. When things are at their worst, you are at your best.
Every problem you face has presented an opportunity for you to show the world what you are made of. Our whole world values a person or product's ability to solve a problem.
Many inventors have become wealthy based on this reality. So, step out and shine in your family, job, community, state, nation, and globally. In a world full of problems, you are one of many great solutionists.
20. Others have experienced the same thing.
When going through times of tragedy and crisis, we are often sidelined with thoughts of loneliness. Moreover, we feel that no one understands what we face, but that is not true. It may be a dark time, but the reality is, others have experienced the same things you are faced with.
Have you ever heard the saying, “Been there, done that, and have the t-shirt to prove it?” Find comfort in those who have the t-shirt and be comforted to know that others survived, and you will too.
21. There are so many people worse off than me.
An old saying says, “I once complained I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.” Look around you. No matter how bad you have it, someone has it worse. May this be a positive thought that gives you an overwhelming sense of thankfulness today.
I once hurt my back, and if I am being candid, I felt sorry for myself in the process. My primary care physician sent me to a pain clinic to have my back checked out. While in the waiting room, I met a young man who had to get monthly shots just to be able to go to work.
He moved so slowly; I thought it was an elderly person at first glance. However, after meeting him and hearing about his situation, I felt much better about my situation. I was humbled, blessed, thankful, and physically felt better after meeting that young man that day.
22. You are an inspiration to others.
Whether you know it or not, people are watching you. As I said earlier, everyone is going through a hard time in some capacity. So, as they see you staying positive and having a great outlook on life, you inspire them to be the same way.
Your positivity challenges the negative mindset in them. Therefore, when confronted with your calmness and their internal turmoil, they desire to have the happiness and peace that you display every day.
23. When one door closes, a better door opens. So you are not out of options.
The saying goes, “don't cry over spilled milk.” That milk cannot be put back into the bottle. The same goes for some doors. Some doors will never be opened back up to us. So, our best option is to encourage ourselves to go through a new and better door.
Just think, it is a blessing to have an open door, which means we have choices. New choices mean new opportunities. New opportunities mean new experiences. There is something wonderful and exciting about new things.
24. Life is more about the journey than the destination.
You may be stressed out because you have not reached certain destination milestones you were planning to at this point. However, the journey is more important than the destination in life. It is in the journey that unique perspectives are formed.
Furthermore, in the journey, you discover what you are made of, talents are brought to the surface, and new passions are formed.
25. I make the best of every situation.
Because you make the best of every situation, you attract great things in your life. When life's circumstances hand you lemons in your health, family, career, or community, you have the talent and wisdom to turn them into lemonade. Because of this positive mindset, nothing will ever keep you down.
26. I have the power to change my circumstances.
A productive, happy thought is when we realize that we have the power to change our circumstances. So many times, we are unhappy and feel stuck within our current situations. Usually, the feeling comes from dwelling on the hard part or the sacrifice we must make to bring that change about.
Examples include sacrificing salary, time spent with children or free time to go back to school and get a degree in a new career field. But it’s refreshing to know you don't have to stay at a dead end or unhappy situation. Instead, we can make choices that cause us to experience true freedom.
27. I choose to be thankful daily and not hold grudges, especially against myself.
Happy thoughts are thankful thoughts. We always have a reason to give thanks. Through the good times, we are usually grateful for the things happening to and for us.
In the bad times, we still have a reason to be thankful for the opportunities to better ourselves and learn from the adversity we have faced… even when we caused the issues ourselves.
I know a couple married for over 10 years. They have three children together and recently divorced due to Tim’s indiscretions. Even though he could focus on what made their marriage fail, Tim chooses to celebrate Tonya for being a great mother to their children. And even in divorce, he has talked to his children, taken responsibility for his actions, and tried to be a better dad.
28. I look forward to vacation and other planned periods of rest.
Vacation thoughts are always happy thoughts. In the weeks leading up to a vacation, we usually have more pep in our step and joy as we think of time away from the hustle and bustle of life.
That is why we should plan periods to “take it easy” (whether a specific day of the week or a weekend) to be happier and well-rested. This always gives us something great to look forward to and gives us the extra push we need when navigating the hectic periods life often brings.
29. I am not destined to fail. Nothing can stop me but me.
It is not only a happy thought, but refreshing and reassuring to step into new adventures and seek to achieve dreams when you believe nothing can stop you but you. That means you make the extra effort to guard your mindset, what you tell yourself, and what you listen to from others.
I have a colleague, Darrell, whose hobby is building custom barbeque pits and outdoor kitchens. He wanted to make it a full-time job and small business. Going full-time would allow him to do something he loves doing and meet the growing demand for his services.
However, some of his family and friends felt he would be making a mistake and should hold on to his current job security and salary. After much planning, Darrell boldly stepped out and started his business. As a result, he found great joy in it and has been very successful. He stepped out on the belief that he was not destined to fail.
30. I am a giver. I add value to people and do not take away.
Givers are usually in their happy place when they give. Just thinking of ways to bless others brings them happy thoughts.
Another aspect of giving is when the receiver appreciates what we offer or the things we do. Seeing that you make others around you better and the things you do make a difference is comforting.
31. I am beautiful.
People can tell you that you are beautiful all day, but unless you believe it for yourself, their words fall by the wayside. Knowing you are beautiful just the way you are, gives you the confidence and peace of mind to get up each day and offer the world something no one else can offer. That is, YOU.
32. I am handsome.
Self-love in a healthy way can be empowering. When you appreciate the handsomeness you have to offer to the world, it not only makes you a happier person but creates an opportunity to use your powers for good. You sir are in demand.
Studies show there are many benefits to being attractive. You are highly sought after for romantic interest, employment positions, and judged to be more trustworthy.
So, confidently take advantage of the open doors given to you and make the world a better place. Handsome people are happier people, and you sir are handsome.
33. I am a winner. I succeed at everything I do.
We often associate happiness with achievement, and there is a lot of truth to that. Because you would be hard-pressed to find someone who sincerely did not have some achievement they wanted to reach in their lifetime.
Happy thoughts are when you don't get hung up on what you don't have, lack of ability, or lack of knowledge about a thing. Instead, you find joy in the possibilities as you research and learn ways to effectively become what your heart desires.
34. I am at peace with my decisions.
Happiness and gratitude are truly living life with no regrets. Yes, we made choices we wouldn't make now if we had to do it all over again.
However, seeing how God turned things around in our favor, we can be at peace with our decisions. They no longer have a stranglehold over our minds, causing us to live in regret. Now we live in faith, happiness, and improved relationships.
35. I am surrounded by good people.
Having good people around you ensures you don't have to face life's challenges alone. You have people who cheer for you in the good and pick you up when things are weighing you down.
Furthermore, good people will give you positive affirmation when needed and constructive criticism when you make bone-headed decisions. What a happy thought to reflect on, having good people in your corner when you need them the most.
Final Thoughts on Happy Thoughts
Happy thoughts draw strength from the past to empower you in the present to get to the future you are longing for. Don’t allow negative self-talk to pull you back, like a turtle hiding in its shell.
If you were to talk to your teenage self and tell them the things that would happen in the next 10, 20, 30, or 40 years… I am sure it would be overwhelming for them. Those things may make them fearful and wonder if those years are worth living.
However, the happy moments you share with them will give them the courage to live on and enjoy those experiences. You would explain that the obstacles will only make them stronger, wiser, and better people.
May you be encouraged to meditate on happy thoughts and fulfill your life's purpose one day at a time… whether you jot them down in a gratitude journal or simply practice mindfulness, prayer or daily affirmations.