Yes, DOUBLE MY GIFT to help families!

Yes, DOUBLE MY GIFT to help families!

Yes, Double my gift to help families!

Focus on the Family Broadcast

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Finding Joy in Life

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Finding Joy in Life

Best-selling author and life coach Valorie Burton discusses her former struggle with depression and explains how she learned to find joy and happiness in her life.

Today's Guests

Episode Summary

Best-selling author and life coach Valorie Burton discusses her former struggle with depression and explains how she learned to find joy and happiness in her life.

Episode Transcript

Opening:

Teaser:

Jim Daly: Valorie, what’s the difference between joy and happiness?

Valorie Burton: You know, I think a lot of times as Christians, we try to make a very big difference between those two, but I tend to think of joy having more to do with where you are spiritually. It’s kind of this abiding sense that God is with you no matter what you’re going through. Happiness is subjective well-being. How are you doing overall? How are you feeling about your life? And so, happiness deals more with feelings, I believe. Joy is more a deeper sense of what’s going on in your spirit.

End of Teaser

John Fuller: A good delineation about some commonly used words from our guest, Valorie Burton and we’re gonna dive into this concept of happiness on today’s “Focus on the Family” with Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller and Valorie is a life coach and a best-selling author. And she’s got some ideas about how you can boost the happiness level in your life.

Body:

Jim: John, can you believe it’s a new year already? I mean, we are right around the corner from all the New Year’s resolutions, which of course, mine every year is how much weight can I lose? (Laughter) Valorie, you can help me with that, can’t you?

Valorie: I can help.

Jim: But you know, it’s that time of year where we take a look at ourselves and say, okay, Lord, are we on the right track? And I don’t know if I’m gonna set up another resolution. Resolutions can be depressing, because you don’t always hit ’em. And we’ll need to talk about that. You can be my life coach. But happiness can be such a fleeting thing and I think in our culture today, we tend in the Christian community particularly, we’re looking for happiness and we forget about the joy of the Lord. And you said that so well a moment ago, Valorie. I’m lookin’ forward to talkin’ about your new book, which is called Happy Women Live Better: 13 Ways to Trigger Your Happiness Every Day and as you said, John, we’re gonna dive into this topic. Valorie, let me welcome you to “Focus on the Family.”

Valorie: Oh, it is so good to be here, Jim. Thank you.

Jim: I really liked that answer. There is a distinction between joy and happiness. Joy is core. It’s what hopefully, you never get rocked in your joy. Happiness can be more day to day. Am I feeling good today? What’s one of the things that you recommend that people, in order to find happiness, what can they do when they get out of bed?

Valorie: Well, you know, and I think one of the first things you can do when you get out of bed is to ask yourself, what am I looking forward to today? I talk about 13 happiness triggers in this book and the very first one, which is actually my favorite, is called “anticipation.” And one of the things that is known from research is, that having something to look forward to actually makes you happier. So, even if it’s something as simple as you’re taking a walk with your kids or you and your spouse are going out for dinner that night. Or maybe you’re just getting’ a bubble bath or a chance to, you know, curl up with a good book, all day long you know you have that to look forward to.

Jim: When you say that, there are people listening that can’t find that gear. When they get up in the morning, they feel perhaps even depressed. Are you born with happy genes? Have you always been this way?

Valorie: (Laughing) You can be born with happy genes, in fact (Laughter), but that does not mean you can’t be happy if you don’t have the gene. About 50 percent of our happiness is actually genetic and I can tell you, I have two very positive optimistic parents. They’ve been through a lot, but I believe I inherited some of that from them.

But I myself struggled with depression. I don’t think I knew what it was. When I … when I dealt with it the first time was when I was around 14- or 15-years-old and my parents had separated. And when I think about it, I know every night, I cried myself to sleep. I didn’t necessarily tell my parents that’s what I was dealing with. And so, I understand what it means to deal with depression. It tends to recur when you have it.

But the thing is, 40 percent of our happiness is intentional choices. It’s what we choose to do every day. So, yes, sometimes it takes a little work to be intentional about, you know, what am I looking forward to? Or what do I have to be grateful for? For you have a lot more control over it than you realize.

Jim: We seem in our culture to, I don’t know, you get into a rut of talking about how busy you are or how unhappy you are. That’s not a smart thing to do, is it?

Valorie: Well …

Jim: We kinda reinforce the negative rather than talking about the good things.

Valorie: Yeah, yeah. Winning words is a happiness trigger. So, we have to notice and become more aware of what we say to ourselves. You know, you know, I’m never gonna get all this work done. I’m never gonna do it.

Okay, what can you do? And asking yourself that question is so, so important. Words mean a lot. And amazingly, even when they, like do brain scans of you looking at the word “no” versus the word “yes” or looking at something that’s a positive word, your brain responds differently.

Jim: Hm.

Valorie: I think it’s pretty amazing how God made our bodies such that happiness actually makes us healthier. The whol