DSCN1043On the news this week it was reported that 11% of Americans were on anti-depressants. That’s sad! We were made to be happy, and we wish it for others, saying “Happy Easter, Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas.”  Why aren’t so many of us happy? Of course, we can blame the theological reason: original sin that stole heaven’s bliss from us. Still, some modicum of happiness is within reach here on earth. We know the joy that comes from a job well done, a surprise party, a newborn baby, a gorgeous nature scene, and someone loving you. Experiences like those leave us bubbling over with happiness. There are stretches of time when we are content, at peace and enjoy getting up in the morning. Joy evaporates, however, when tragedy strikes, stress builds up, or failure darkens our life. Sometimes we might feel blue for no identifiable reason. At such times we might cry, wish we hadn’t been born, try to drown our sorrows in alcohol, or hate getting out of bed.

Our novice director once told us to avoid the 3 Ds: the doctor, the devil, and the dumps. So, how does a Christian deal with sadness?

First, check to see if your life is out of kilter because you are not right with God. A clever observation is that JOY is the result of putting nothing 0 between Jesus and You.

Second, as psychiatrist Karl Menninger advised, when you are down in the dumps, cross the train tracks and help someone in nDSCN1999eed. That takes your mind off yourself and your problems.

Third, reflect on all the blessings that are yours today.  Recall (and relive) blessings of the past. They will far outweigh your problems, and remembering them will cheer you up.

Fourth, go for a walk in creation and let it fill your heart. This can be rejuvenating. Plus, exercise releases serotonin, our good-feeling hormone. and endorphins, our natural painkillers.

Fifth, remind yourself, “This too will pass.” Life, like a roller coaster, has ups and downs. With hope and confidence, look ahead to the future when you will be on the top of a hill once more.

Sixth, socialize with people who care about you and people who make you laugh. Throw a party.

Seventh, listen to music: upbeat songs and soaring classical pieces.

Eighth, pray. Remembe13388_807230719353331_3122662584993558245_nr that God loves you and you are never totally alone.

Ninth, go where there are children and babies and let them lift your spirits.

Tenth, take on a new hobby, learn something new, or have a new experience. Writing a novel for the first time gave oomph to my life.

Eleventh, act as if. Act as though you are happy. This can work like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Smile! It’s said that smiling can help you feel happy…even if just a tad happier.

Twelfth, If all else fails, talk to your doctor to see if there is a physical cause to your sadness.

What do you find helpful when you are in a dark mood?




  1. Mary Day on April 15, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Sister Kathleen,

    This is so positive and helpful to me. I like the phrase, “cross the tracks.”

    Thank you.

    Mary Day

  2. Kathleen Glavich, SND on April 15, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Thank you for letting me know, Mary. A happy Easter season to you!

  3. Mark Misencik on April 15, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Hey Sister,

    Do what I just did, participate in a retreat or renewal. You would not (or maybe you would) believe the burdens people try to carry by themselves.


  4. Kathleen Glavich, SND on April 16, 2015 at 8:03 am

    A good addition, Mark. Thank you. Your comment dovetails with a homily from this past Sunday. The priest spoke about the importance of the Church as community. We ought to be a tight knit group of people who offer one another support in time of need. We should be able to count on one another to help carry us along in times of doubt or crisis.

  5. Gabrielle Renoir on April 17, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Great advice, Sister. I believe greatly in number eleven and think people are about as happy as they make up their minds they are going to be. I wish happiness for us all.

  6. Michelle on April 20, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Sister Kathleen,

    You won’t believe this…So I got up this morning feeling a little down. Why? Just feeling a little blue; my car needs a repair, I needed to issue a refund to a client, I’m contemplating ending a friendship that is serving me no purpose, I’m stressing about my bodybuilding competition diet, etc. Just felt OFF since waking up.
    Well, I went and did my normal Breviary prayers and then I went through my emails and saw your blog post title about Happiness Tips and thought, Wow, this is timely!

    So I took #3 #5 and #8 to heart and started praying and of course thanking God for all the blessings and everything I am grateful for (as I always do when I first wake up in the morning) but then I said a little prayer about “financial assistance.” I’m very careful not to ask God directly for money because, I know that’s just plain wrong. I usually pray for “Can you please put someone in my path that needs my help and can invest in personal training with me so I can HELP them?”

    Today I specifically said something like, “If there’s any way my financial situation can be improved even in the slightest, I would be grateful. Because then I can GIVE more and right now, I feel like I can’t give as much as I should to those in need.”

    Well…I don’t think I even got the AMEN out of my mouth when I noticed I had a voicemail on my phone (I had it on Do Not Disturb).
    Long story short, my part time job that I just got a few weeks ago has offered me more hours at a different location. It’s not a new client but it’s more money that I can use to pay that car repair and pay back my client without breaking the bank, literally. And of course, this means more money that I can donate back to those in real need and to my church that I love so much.

    I had a good laugh this morning picturing God saying, “See. I told you, ask and you shall receive! Why are you doubting me down there?”

    Needless to say, I don’t feel too blue now.

    • Kathleen Glavich, SND on April 21, 2015 at 9:45 am

      What a heartening story, Michelle. Thanks for sharing it. May your blessings, happiness…and faith in God…continue!

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