When someone asks me if I'm happy, or how I'm feeling, I sometimes answer "I don't know if I'm happy, but I am joyful". I don't want to sound overly religious when I say that, I'm not trying to convert anyone, but JOY is so much more beneficial than happiness. Happiness depends on your emotional state. If you're not upbeat or gitty about something than being HAPPY is just not going to happen. HOWEVER, you can be joyful in most situations even the ones that seem desparate or sad.
JOY isn't giggles and rainbows. Joy is the understanding that it will be fine,it will work out, it will be honored, it will have a final good ending. JOY is knowing that no matter what you are still worth something to yourself and/or to someone else, and certainly (here is the conversion part) you are worth something to God. He wouldn't have made you if you didn't have some sort of purpose, be it big or small. JOY is the goal for all of my achievements. I can't begin to say that too often, because it is true. Without joy there is no hope; without hope there is no reason. We all have some desire, put joy in gear and if you don't have it, look for it.
I watched a show the other night where a boy about aged 4 told his mom over and over that he couldn't do something. "I can't do it" he said..and not surprisingly the mom sad up straight, crossed her legs and said "I know, let's blow 'can't' away and it can never come back!" Then she asked him if he was ready -- he was, and they both drew up all of the breaths they could hold and pushed out all the air and along with it, the CAN'T that had been inside...all of it. Can't is not welcome. It just isn't. It was fun to watch, and fun to do a little later on when a negative thought hit me. I was in the store, and yeah, maybe I looked like an idiot for a second, but I drew up my breath and blew out all the can't. IT LEFT ME...and I laughed. JOY.
So yes, be daring enough to make your neighbor wonder just a second or two if you haven't lost all your marbles. For no reason, and for every reason, find JOY in the things you overlook every day. You'll be so surprised, or maybe you won't be, how great you feel afterwards. Besides, happiness lets go sooner too. Joy hangs around.