Basics for happiness

1. Self pity is NOT an option (unless you want to be miserable!). It is very important to leave the past behind and live in the present.

2. Forgiveness: If anyone has hurt you in the past then, whenever you are tempted to let such memories get you down, what is needed is to purposely forgive them in your heart. This will need to be done frequently – once will not be enough. You have to start taking seriously the words that Jesus gives us in the gospel that “Unless you forgive others from your heart then your heavenly Father will not forgive you.” In the Our Father prayer that Jesus taught us pray the words “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us” – a dangerous prayer if you do not forgive all who have in some way hurt you!

3. Creating a positive outlook in your life depends completely on yourselfother people cannot do this for you. An important help towards having a positive outlook is to throughout the day – especially whenever you are tempted to pity yourself and see only the negative side of life – is to seriously and frequently make acts of GRATITUDE to God for the very many blessings that you constantly enjoy but so frequently take for granted. (e.g. the gift God gave you of : having a nice house with running water and electricity, the garden, the trees, the sunshine, the rain, your ability to walk, your ability to see and hear, talk, the education you have received, the availability of medicine and medical care…. I am sure that you can add to this list.) Thank God even for your difficulties. God can and will use them for your own good and for the good of others – if you let Him! -. ”THANK YOU LORDis a prayer that has to be frequently on your lips and in your heart.

4. Take pride in your appearance – when you go out and whenever you will be meeting others make sure that you put on something nice etc. This helps for you to have pride in yourself and a positive outlook in life.

5. Take care of your health: spend time outside in the fresh air, go out for walks, make sure that you eat healthy food…

6. If you go around telling people how unhappy you are don’t be surprised if people will avoid you. Such a negative outlook is contagious. You will be making them feel unhappy too and everyone has their own problems in life.

7. As a Christian you are expected to unite your sufferings to the sufferings of Jesus to obtain God’s blessings for the world around us. We do not pray only for ourselves and our problems. Everyone has their own difficulties in life. (You could pray for the many people who have far greater problems than yourself, people who live in severe poverty and lack the basics of life which you take for granted. Pray for those who are suffering because of war, violence, hunger, injustice, persecution, natural disasters….) We do this especially when we go to church and participate in the Mass.

8. The Mass is our most important act of worship and prayer. In the Eucharist we unite our prayers and worship to the worship that Jesus offers to our heavenly Father on our behalf. It is up to you to give it due importance. No one can do this for you.

9. Being part of the Church community should be a great help so go to the Church for Mass on Sundays and on some of the weekdays.

10. Make sure that you put Our Lady into your life. You may find praying the Rosary and the following prayer helpful:

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

These suggestions will only be of help if you give them real importance in your daily life.

Others can give support and encouragement but if you really want things to change this depends completely on yourself