I learned from the internet blogs that the most popular course in the Harvard University is the Positive Psychology class taught by Dr Tal Ben-Shahar. It attracts 1400 students per semester and 20% of Harvard graduates take this elective course. According to Ben Shahar, the class – which focuses on happiness, self-esteem and motivation – gives students the tools to succeed and face life with more joy. According to most of the blogs, this 45-year-old teacher, considered by some to be “the happiness guru”, highlights in his class 14 or 15 key tips for improving the quality of our personal status and contributing to a positive life. (Some blogs include tip no 15 of developing a sense of humour. Some may dispute whether his tips mentioned God. I believe it is possible as religious people are more likely to give thanks for everything they have and are generally more joyful in life.)
I have noticed that all these 14 or 15 key tips are advice to take good care of one’s whole being of spirit, soul and body. As Ben Shahar is a Jew, it is not surprising that his tips correlate with the general biblical principles and wisdom of living in the Kingdom of God which is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Rom 14:17. My comments on these tips made reference to the relevant Scriptural verses.
Tips For The Spirit
- Thank God for everything you have. Write down 10 things you have in your life that give you happiness. Focus on the good things!
- Fervently believe in God. With him nothing is impossible!
The Scripture exhorted us not to be anxious about anything but to bring everything to God in prayer with thanksgiving. We are to focus and think on things that are true, honourable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and praiseworthy. Phil 4:6-9.
Surely nothing is impossible with God as He is the Creator of the whole universe. Luke 1:37. And He will reward those who fervently believe in Him and seek Him diligently. Heb 11:6.
Tips For The Body
- Practice physical activity. Experts say exercising helps improve mood. 30 minutes of exercise is the best antidote against sadness and stress.
- Breakfast. Some people miss breakfast for lack of time or not to get fat. Studies show that breakfast gives you energy, helps you think and perform your activities successfully.
- Wear comfortable shoes. If your feet hurt you, you become moody, says Dr. Keinth Wapner, President of the American Orthopedics Association.
- Take care of your posture. Walk straight with your shoulders slightly backwards and the front view helps to maintain a good mood.
- What you eat has an impact on your mood. Do not skip meals, eat lightly every 3 to 4 hours and keep glucose levels stable.- Avoid excess white flour and sugar.- Eat everything healthy. Vary your food.
- Take care of yourself and feel attractive. 70% of people say they feel happier when they think they look good.
The body of a believer is the temple of the Spirit of God and obviously extreme good care of it has to be taken. 1 Cor 6:19-20. 1 Tim 4:8. So whether we eat or drink, we do it all for the glory of God. 1 Cor 10:31. When we are in good health so is our soul. 3 John 1:2.
Tips For The Soul
- Assertive. Ask what you want and say what you think. Being assertive helps improve your self-esteem. Being left and remaining silent creates sadness and hopelessness.
- Spend your money on experiences. A study found that 75% of people felt happier when they invested their money in travel, courses and classes; while only the rest said they felt happier when buying things.
- Face your challenges. Studies show that the more you postpone something, the more anxiety and tension you generate. Write short weekly lists of tasks and complete them.
- Put everywhere nice memories, phrases and photos of your loved ones. Fill your fridge, your computer, your desk, your room, YOUR LIFE of beautiful memories.
- Always greet and be nice to other people. More than 100 inquiries state that just smiling changes the mood.
- Listen to music (Praise God). It is proven that listening to music awakens you to sing, this will make your life happy.
- Develop a good sense of humour. Learn to laugh off matters, specially when things don’t go right for you.
The Scripture exhorted us to count it all joy as we meet all kinds of trials in life because trials train us to be steadfast and yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Besides, if we lack wisdom to face certain challenges, we can ask God and He will grant us generously. James 1:2-4. Heb 12:7-11.
Listening to music soothes our souls. Whenever King Saul was tormented in his spirit, he would send for David to play him the lyre. 1 Sam 16:14-23. Singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs is evidence of a Spirit filled life. Eph 5:19.
Whenever we are nice to people speaking kind and gentle words, not only we deflect animosity but we also gain friendship. Prov 15:1. Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Prov 16:24.
Always keeping a merry heart is not only good medicine for the body but also it bring out a cheerful face. Prov 17:22. Prov 15:13. It can be achieved by developing a sense of humour and laughing off stressful matters.
It is the gift of God that we may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all our toil. And spending on travel is one great satisfaction. Eccl 3:13.