Are you out of your mind? Good, stay there.

Happiness is not found between your ears; it’s in the hearts of the people around you. Get out of your own skull and get into the lives of your family, your friends, your church, and your community. St. Francis reminded us of God’s plan for living a life of joy: it is in giving that we receive.

These days we’re all facing some sort of stress. For many of us, it’s worrying about our job; will it be here tomorrow? For others, it’s our grades, or our spouse, or our health. No matter how good we may have it, our mind can come up with something to worry about.

I face this struggle every day, and I’m sure you do too. Something may be wrong at the office, or our spouse was cranky. Either way, something started the wheels of anxiety whirling in our little heads. Before we know it, we’re upset. What happens next? We snap at the people around us. They probably had a head full of worries before we walked into the room and now we’ve gone and ruined their day. So they snarl back, or they take it out on the next person in line. Before we know it, we’re the head domino in a chain of misery. Good old human nature: we are experts at making a bad situation worse.

Here’s a different approach. Let’s use that anxiety-driven energy to do something nice. Do the dishes for your ailing wife. Say something nice to your coworkers. Take the dog for a walk. Do anything, just get outside of the grumpy zone that’s inside of you. The air’s a lot fresher out there.

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