Do you know someone who always has a smile on her face? Whenever she deals with troubling circumstances she does so with grace and dignity rather than complaining and strife? Although happiness is impossible to achieve every second, it is possible to achieve happiness when you have acquired the skills to handle both the good and bad of life. Here are fifteen habits most happy women have in common:
Studies show exercising regularly increases the level of hormones responsible for happy feelings secreted to the brain. Conversely, a lack of exercise increases the tendency to develop depression and anxiety. Our bodies were made to move. You don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy the benefits of regular exercise. Walking for thirty minutes on a lunch break or after dinner will reap incredible benefits. Walking with someone is even better as it will increase bonds and foster better relationships with others.
In addition to exercise, happy women embrace the benefits of healthful eating. Our bodies require vitamins and minerals to operate at the best level possible. We receive these vitamins and minerals mostly through plant-based products such as fruits and vegetables. Although food is fun and eating is a good gift from God, it's primary function is to sustain us. Happy women eat for health first, for fun second. And they don’t eat their feelings, but rather deal with them directly.
Just because a woman is confident, doesn’t mean she doesn’t have occasional fears or doubts. She just doesn’t let that fear or doubt rule her mind or heart. She is not afraid to say no and doesn’t dwell on other people’s perceptions of her. Instead, she lives life knowing who she is, accepts who she is and isn’t willing to bow to others’ expectations just to win their approval.
People who spend too much time watching television or scrolling through social media are often more unhappy than those who limit their screen time. That's because so often we can quickly lose our confidence to the trap of comparison that so naturally happens when we look at everyone's highlight reels.
Happy women spend their time wisely, living life to the fullest and spending their lives in reality with loved ones rather than virtually in front of a screen. How much time do you spend on your phone or in front of other screens? Try fasting from or limiting your screen time and see the difference it makes in your happiness!
Happy women know how to set good goals for themselves and work hard to achieve them. It does not necessarily mean they meet each and every goal they make, but rather, they continually set specific, attainable, measurable, timely and realistic goals and set aside time in their schedules to work on them. They analyze themselves soberly, identifying weaknesses and work hard to turn those weaknesses into strengths.
Unhappy women are people pleasers, consumed by their fear of not being liked. Happy women, on the other hand, exude confidence and know when to say no. They draw proper boundaries and say no to tasks and people when their plates are too full. They do so even if they suspect they will make someone unhappy or disappointed. They don’t bow to the pressure of people’s manipulation and know how to stand up for themselves in the midst of that pressure.
Happy women don’t major on the minors. They pick their life battles and understand that life can’t be micromanaged. They give people space to grow, and consequently, make mistakes. They realize life is not about them and don’t allow people’s failures to define them as failures. Rather they know when to speak up, and consequently, when to keep quiet.
In this post-Christian world, many people don’t read the Bible regularly, or worse, commit it to memory. Yet, so many verses serve as good life principles from which to live. One of those tenets is to forgive freely. Jesus told the people to forgive “seventy times seven,” meaning they should be willing to forgive freely, no matter the offense.
This is not to minimize egregious offenses like violence or abuse, but Jesus understood that people don’t thrive when they are emotionally ill. Carrying the baggage of past offenses can weigh you down, like a heavy anchor poised to pull you under the ocean’s current. Women who forgive easily don’t have to be tethered to a heavy anchor anymore. They live freely because they are emotionally free.
Happy women aren’t afraid of a little conflict. They nip conflict in the bud immediately so those little issues don’t build up. So many friendships and marriages fail not because of major conflicts and issues, but because of little offenses that build up over time. Happy women know that dealing with problems quickly and clearly means less of a chance of bitterness and resentment will build up.
We were not meant to live life alone. Even God Himself exists in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Happy women don’t do life in isolation but rather walk with other more seasoned Christians who can help them live their best life possible. This includes acquiring accountability so they don’t fall into sin, and mentoring others who are younger in the faith so they can pay forward what has been passed to them, giving others the same chance to live the best life possible.
Since Genesis, God designed people to work. The problem is that we often choose jobs just for a good paycheck, rather than what aligns with our true passions. Happy women seek out opportunities to do what they love, regardless of whether or not they get paid. They know that the true paychecks are found as eternal rewards, when they touch the lives of others giving them meaning as they enrich their own lives in return.
God is the most important relationship every person should have in their lives. Happy women pray and commune habitually with God. This is because, like Jesus, they know they can do nothing without relying on the Holy Spirit. Prayer, reading the Word and practicing other spiritual disciplines helps them to keep connected with God as much as possible. When women are living in the love they know the Father has for them, the happier they become.
The Bible is rich with God’s promises and his views on how he sees his children - we are his beloved people, his treasured possession. Happy women have these soul-affirming scriptures memorized, ready to recall whenever Satan strikes and plants doubts or lies in their minds. This doesn’t mean they don’t ever experience spiritual attack, but instead, they know that the Word is a sword they can wield when they are doing battle with the enemy.
We are all wired with spiritual gifts that God has uniquely given us. That alone should make women happy. But to use those gifts to touch other’s lives is the even bigger reward. These gifts, not to be confused with natural talents, are ones that are used regularly among the church body. Gifts like encouragement, prophecy, knowledge, wisdom and hospitality are just some of those gifts that can be utilized to build up the body. Happy women are in touch with their gifts and use them regularly.
When my son was in preschool, his teachers were tasked with making the decision as to whether or not he should move on to kindergarten or stay back a year. After much prayer and deliberation, they came to me and said they thought it was best that he stayed back a year. There wasn’t a problem academically, but rather socially.
When I talked about other children with August birthdays going to school on time, his teacher replied, “your son is your son. He can only do what He is uniquely wired to do. He is not any other child. God created him with a specific purpose and plan for his life, and it’s not fair to compare him to anyone else.” What wisdom! In the same way, you are you, uniquely created to do only what you can do. It isn’t fair to compare yourself to anyone else. You are not them. Happy women don’t compare, but rather embrace the joy of being unique.
No one achieves happiness all the time. That is a myth. Don’t believe the world’s lies that a good life is one in which you are happy every second. We all experience pain and anger and other negative emotions from time to time. The difference between happy and unhappy women, however, is how they choose to deal and react to those negative emotions.
Michelle S. Lazurek is an award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife and mother. Winner of the Golden Scroll Children's Book of the Year, the Enduring Light Silver Medal and the Maxwell Award, she is a member of the Christian Author's Network and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She is also an associate literary agent with Wordwise Media Services. For more information, please visit her website at michellelazurek.com.