Growth Through Adversity: How to Be Happy

Do you wish you were happy all the time? What if true happiness meant you weren’t happy during all times of the day? Perhaps it sounds outlandish to be happy under adversity, conflict, and pain, but there may be a different meaning to true happiness altogether. We may have been conditioned all our lives to believe that happiness is a destination and one that is achieved once “all our ducks are in one row”.

I would like to share how happiness is a journey, and how it goes beyond gratifying our own selves, but how it involves growing as a person and finding contentment in life.

True happiness is not about avoiding hard times but knowing how to respond to adversity. It involves the kind of hope that knows that the outcome may not be perfect but accepts and is okay with results, regardless.

Firstly, understand that a direct result of pain is a clouded mind. I don’t know about you, but when my mind is clouded, it is even more painful to think. At this moment, it is important to rest and trust God. Allowing your mind to dwell on positive things; the blessings God has granted you in your life, and ultimately His love, does wonders to the mind. Since 9 out of 10 diseases starts from the mind, there is clearly an intimate relation between the body and mind. The mind is a powerful thing.

Stay Active

I know it all too well; if you are in emotional pain or depression, the last thing you desire to do is go out for fresh air and engage in activity. Exercising, engaging in useful employment, going out in nature, and serving others will help you rise above pain. Staying active physically also reduces stress on the body, increases energy levels, and releases endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body. Exercising reduces anxiety, depression, and negative moods. (1)

Be Steadfast

You may be asking yourself, “What if the same problems continue to arise? I’m too burnt out to keep standing strong.” There are certain things in our lives beyond our control, and how we meet the conflict determines our personal development. We may not be able to change our circumstances, but we can change our attitude and approach.

I am reminded of a time when I was falsely accused of my motive. That was beyond my control. As hard as it was, I chose to respond calmly and continue my responsibilities. It is so tempting to look for an immediate exit during conflict, but being steadfastness produces fortitude. The uncertainty and unpredictability of the situation caused me pain and stress, but I pressed on faithfully. Prayer and connection to God was my greatest source of strength that carried me through. In the end, the false accusations cleared, and I was able to bridge a connection and make a positive difference in the other person’s life.

Cultivate Cheerfulness

It is a fact that we won’t always feel lighthearted, but the best antidote is to look on the bright side of life, smile, and talk about positive things. Brooding over our sorrows comes easily, but it will not change the circumstances. Instead, brooding decreases our health and happiness. There are certain emotions that we can’t help but feel, but we can certainly train our minds to look upwards.

Eat Clean & Balanced

Eat clean, nutritionally balanced, and whole foods as much as possible. Ensuring proper nutrition helps your body’s energy levels, and supports overall improved emotional and mental health. Diets with high amounts of fat and sugar are linked to mood disorders. You can learn a bit on how to switch to a plant-based diet to highly improve your health and prevent disease, and even more in detail here.

Surround Yourself with Supportive People

We were not meant to bear life’s burdens alone. I can recall several periods in my life where I was experiencing pain, and I knew that God had sent a loving friend my way at that very moment. It was not a coincidence. Hearing another person’s perspective can help you view things in a better light and remind you that you’re not alone.

Have Happiness Now (2)

In an earlier statement, you can have happiness along the way of life. Ask yourself, where do you look to for happiness when things go awry? Maybe you are experiencing financial hardships, family and home troubles, betrayal, supposed failure, or other painful circumstances. Life will not always run smoothly, but we can choose hopefulness and joy now, at this very moment. It is a fact that many are sad during the holidays.

True happiness is joy and hope under painful circumstances.

In what ways can you choose happiness in your current situation? How can you help others who are experiencing difficult times?

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/

(2) LS 292

Grace Jauwena
Grace Jauwena

Grace Jauwena is a health coach that focuses on plant-based nutrition and natural remedies. She strives to help others thrive holistically, and is pursuing a doctorate degree in natural medicine. She loves to cook, create recipes, style food, and take photos. In her free time, she explores new foods, hiking trails, and beaches with her husband, and spends time with family and friends.

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