Disregard what isn’t your business. Drama happens all around us in this fallen world. You’ll be happiest when you don’t get caught up unnecessarily in what’s happening in other people’s lives (unless God has clearly called you to get involved) and focus on dealing with your own issues.

Think before you say it. Avoiding the regret that comes from speaking carelessly will make you happy. Keep in mind that words contain great power to bring about either good or evil. So carefully consider your words before you talk.

List your thoughts and dreams. Since happiness often comes from pursuing God’s dreams for you, reflect on your thoughts and dreams and list them so you can pray about each one specifically. Then see what God does to shape your dreams to align with His will and make them come true.

Acquire a brand-new skill. You can derive great happiness from learning how to do something you’re interested in, and every new day that God gives you is a fresh opportunity to learn, so take advantage of it.

Get doctrine under your belt. Get to know biblical truths well and apply them regularly to your life; when you do, you can be happy because you’ll be approaching life from the right perspective.

Cook something special for yourself. Enjoying what you eat every day can bring you lots of happiness as it reminds you of God’s creativity and provision for you. Don’t hesitate to cook delicious, healthy meals – even if you’re only cooking for yourself – because the effort is worthwhile.

Listen with your whole heart. When you listen carefully to other people, you can come to understand each other well and enjoy happy times together.

Forgive others over and over. Happiness often comes from enjoying healthy relationships, and you can do that when you obey God’s command to forgive people who have hurt you and apologize to the people you have hurt. Always be willing to forgive, with God’s help.

Give your time, energy, and money. Regularly give your resources to the people in need whom God calls you to help. As you give practical helps to others, God will give happiness to you.

Live an attitude of gratitude. Train yourself to notice the many blessings that God is constantly pouring into your life. Then make a habit of thanking God for the blessings He has given you. Each time you do, you’ll grow happier.

Adapted from Simple Secrets to a Happy Life, copyright 2012 by Luci Swindoll. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tn., www.thomasnelson.com.

Luci Swindoll was part of the Women of Faith (www.womenoffaith.com) speaking team for 12 years. As an author, popular speaker, photographer, musician, artist, and world traveler, Luci loves to share her joy of life with everyone else she encounters.

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles (http://angels.about.com/). Contact Whitney at angels.guide@about.com to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer.

Publication date: April 17, 2012