1. (Realizing Our Best Self), Genesis 1:27 – “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
According to a study by King (2001), visualizing our best self can improve our happiness significantly.
Students were divided up into four groups: One group wrote about traumatic events, another about neutral events, another wrote about seeing their best possible self, and finally the last group wrote about their best possible self and traumatic events.
The group that wrote about their best possible selves scored the best on their subjective well being (happiness). Why are these implications important?
If we started each day by believing that we really are made in God’s image, that would mean we are also a small reflection of God’s beauty, of God’s amazingness, and God’s perfection!
This isn’t meant to make us egotistical but to help us realize that our “best self” is truly found in God and that should give us purpose, meaning, and something to strive for each day contributing to our overall happiness.
2. (Gratitude), 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
A study done by Emmons and McCullough (2003), found that sitting down and writing about five things you are grateful for can increase happiness by 25%.
As Christians, we always have something to be thankful for. Just the fact that God has given us a new day to be with those we love, to be able to wake up and see the beautiful sunrise, and to know that one day we will meet our Creator should make writing a list like this very easy.
Try and take a moment each day to write down some things you are grateful for.
3. (Serve Others), Acts 20:35 – “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus how he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
One study examined whether acts of kindness improved happiness levels (Lyubomirsky, Sheldon & Schkade, 2005). Students were asked to perform five acts of kindness, each week, for a period of six weeks.
Students showed a small improvement in happiness levels.
It shouldn’t be any surprise that one of Jesus’s main missions was to serve others. The most powerful person ever to live here on earth, humbled himself and served others demonstrated most by his, “Washing of the feet of all of his disciples, even Judah.”
Instead of looking for the next best thing to try and make you happy, the scientific research shows that we only need to practice the very things that God has already called us to do.