Dear Monica: How can I transform sadness into happiness? Thank you in advance. ~ Hugo Montgomery
Thank you for asking! There are two very practical ways of transforming sadness that come to mind.
The first way to grow and strengthen our sense of happiness is to grow our appreciation. We might consider using a gratitude journal to write down each day what we are thankful for. Spend time looking for and enjoying the good that is in your life even if it’s something small. By turning our focus to our gifts and blessings, happiness comes much more easily and fluidly.
"Spend time looking for & enjoying the good that is in your life."
Secondly, being of service to others and sharing is really the most practical and powerful tool to grow our happiness. Research shows that simple acts of generosity can actually boost our immune system, relieve pain and even make our hearts stronger. Scientists have even coined a term for the feeling of pleasure we get when we give and it’s known as the “warm glow effect”. Not only does sharing create a sense of happiness, as discovered in a survey of 30,000 American households it was found that those who gave to charity were 43% more likely to say they were happy about their lives than those who did not give, but it also affords us the chance to grow, change our lives, change the lives of others and ultimately the world.
The Light of the Creator has an abounding Desire to Share and our souls are comprised of that same Light. What makes a person consistently happy is if the Light is flowing through him or her all the time, and it is when we share that the Light flows through us. The idea is to be a constant giver, not necessarily in great ways or by grand measures but what is most important is the consciousness behind the giving.
Of course, it’s nice to share. But true growth only occurs when we give of ourselves in ways that are uncomfortable. Through this means of sharing you will feel joyful and abundant and a more fulfilled ‘you’ as well. There is no choice between being kind to others & being kind to ourselves. It is the same thing.
"True growth occurs when we give of ourselves."
Want to be happy? Give a little. Want to be happier? Give a lot.
One last thing to keep in mind. We all experience sadness and depression from time to time, and growing our appreciation and sharing with others are powerful ways to counter that. Some of us may experience severe depression or mental disorders that affect our happiness. If you find yourself continually depressed, day after day, do not feel ashamed to ask for help. Reaching out to a therapist, a spiritual teacher, or trusted friend for further support can make all the difference in the world.