How to be Happy

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” James 1:17.

Last week, I wrote about the joy you will find by keeping a gratitude journal. My friend challenged me to find 1000 different things to be thankful for. The task sounded easy–but at number 412, not repeating taxes me.

The first 100? Breezy. Because the obvious could no longer be used,  I needed to dig. Because I search, all day long I focus on my world with new vision. What can’t be taken from me? (Think mountain views and the ocean and good friends) What amazes me? (The beauty of a hummingbird).  What is beautiful ( an amaryllis blooming out of season). What blesses me? (an expected sale). I search. And I find (not as the world finds–as promised in Matthew 7:7.) As I look for things that bless, I stay present. I examine what is good and admirable–and the entire list from Philippians 4:8.

I challenge you to keep a gratitude journal. Test this theory. See that it works.

According to Robert A. Emmons in Gratitude Works! (page 10)studies have given quantifiable benefits from keeping a gratitude journal.

Benefits of journaling your gratitude:
  1. people who do are 25% happier
  2. they sleep 1/2 hour longer each night
  3. they exercise 33% more each week
  4. hypertensives lower their bp by 10%
  5. dietary fat drops up to 20%
  6. they feel more connected to others
  7. their relationships improve
  8. they are more altruistic
  9. they are more loving
  10. they feel closer to God

Life is short. We’re not promised to wake up tomorrow or return from our Sunday drive. Do we want to live our brief lives deprived?

I used to journal copiously. After hearing how it can help you overcome depression or anger or other negative feelings, I decided to try it. These journals never made me feel better.

The Bible admonishes us in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

Do you want a better life?

Why not try gratitude journaling? You’ll fulfill Philippians 4:8

Today I’m grateful for:

  1. The fact that you took time to read to this post.
  2. My swimming pool is almost clear.
  3. I have too many eggs and can’t find enough people to take them.
  4. My friend Stacy is going to visit from her home in Indiana.
  5. Vacation Bible School is going well.
  6. No rain in the foreseeable future.
  7. No humidity today.
  8. An acquaintance contacted me to buy the final book in my Treasured Lives series–Tangled Lives
  9. Chocolate covered raisins
  10. Encouraging friends like Peggy and MaryAnn. Great authors and wonderful encouragers.

Change your life–even if it’s great–it can be even better.

Treasured Lives

In the final book, two sisters share the same past that one can’t remember and the other can’t forget.

One sister lives in a world of possibility (e.g. gratitude). The other sees only the negative. See how their lives tangle and their outcomes.

This is a well-received series.




  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful post, Carol. I was so surprised to see that you mentioned my name. Thank you. It is an honor to be called your friend, fellow author, and especially sister in Christ. Today I put YOU on my gratitude list!

    Love and Blessings,


  2. Peggy Ellis says:

    You’re such an inspiration, Carol! Although I love the beautiful braid on the first edition of Tangled Lives, this one is growing on me!

    • Carol McClain says:

      You are kind. And right now, the only one who has read this blog. Sheesh. No wonder I’m inconsistent.

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