I've heard that gratitude is what we should focus on... that joy is better than happiness...indeed, that happiness is founded in selfishness and entitlement and should be avoided at all costs. But in her new book, The Happiness Dare, Jennifer Dukes Lee presents a different perspective.
"Happiness is the feeling of contentment that wells up inside of you when you are at peace with who you are and the life you've been given.
Happiness is a feeling, but it's also a decision. It's a choice we get to make every day, even on our hardest days.
Happiness is an outward expression of inward joy that is found in Jesus.
Happiness is a gift from a happy God.
Happiness is an offer extended to us by the Gospel - an offer of happiness forever, starting with happiness today." -from The Happiness Dare
Although the book released on Tuesday, I've had a copy for several months as a member of the launch team. The opportunity to read this came at a good time (as always) - wrapping up six months of introspection, mental housecleaning, and perspective shifting, direction for outwardly expressing inner revelations was exactly what I needed.
She begins with a Biblical defense of happiness, then launches into the five "happiness styles" (find yours here!) I am almost equally a Thinker and an Experiencer - and while I could have probably told you that without needing a quiz to tell me, I have found that consciously realizing that things like journaling, bright bouquets, knitting, and going for walks make me happy somehow makes me happier. Possibly because I'm appreciating them, instead of feeling guilty about them...
Later chapters cover tips for retraining your brain to choose happiness, with plenty of grace for hard times and deeply-ingrained negative thoughts and patterns.
This book is definitely going on my "read yearly" shelf - a reminder for my somewhat melancholy nature to look on the bright side. And for daily encouragement, the #thehappinessdare hashtag marks many inspiring moments on Instagram. I signed up for the launch team because this seemed like a book I'd believe in - and, after reading it, I have to say that I unequivocally recommend it!
How do you feel about "happiness"?