There's a lot of happy people out there, but there are a lot of unhappy people too. The Washington Post wrote about the increases in suicide rates across the nation back in June (you can read that article here). Every state but Nevada saw a huge increase in suicide. Suicide is a very complicated subject and much goes into it besides unhappiness. Often, a person is severely depressed and suicide is the only thing that they can think of to stop the pain. It's not a selfish act normally -- self-centered yes, but often the people can't get outside themselves to think objectively.
An article from The Telegraph (read it here) says that only 3 in 10 people in the UK are happy with their lives. The Huffington Post said only 1 in 3 people in America are happy with their lives.
Life is more than being happy, but it sure makes life better when you're satisfied. We don't have to be happy with all aspects of our lives to be content. Contentment can be achieved by anyone anywhere. It doesn't matter what we're going through. I think God wants us to be content, to have that peace of His inside us, to live in that peace no matter what is going on in our lives. There are steps we can take to learn contentment (but before you can learn to live in God's peace you have to be a Believer. Click here to find out how to become a Believer if you aren't).
(Before I share those steps I want to address depression. If you are dealing with depression (and not just being sad for a few days -- but a hopeless depression that won't lift no matter what you do) and have been dealing with it for a while, please see your doctor. Sometimes medication is needed to help our brains get back on track mood-wise. There's nothing wrong or shameful about that. If you're in a full-blown depression you very likely need some outside help to get out of it. Not seeking help can be fatal.)
So, I've come up with four steps that can help you learn contentment (Paul even had to learn contentment. He mentions this in Philippians 4:11). Here they are:
#1. Put on a thankful attitude every morning. There is always something to be thankful for. Always. Sometimes we have to search for it, but that is okay. Think out of thankfulness. If you're reading this you can thank God you can read. If you're reading this and you're not in pain, you can thank God for your health.
"give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18
#2. Realize who you are in Christ Jesus. You are someone. You are unlike anyone else. God chose you. God loves you. You are significant just because you are you and you were created by God.
"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate (you) from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39
#3. Realize the task God has given you to do is vital to His kingdom work. If God has placed you somewhere you are there to represent Him. He will shine through you. Your interactions with other people; your faithfulness to your work; the love you show others -- all of it will be used for God's kingdom. No task or job is insignificant when it has come from God -- and this includes daily tasks we all have to do (laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping, paying bills, etc). If God has given it to you to do, do it for Him gladly.
#4. Don't compare your life or your work or your calling to anyone else's. This kind of comparison does no good whatsoever. Be assured the importance of your life. It doesn't matter if anyone else notices what you're doing for Jesus. He notices.
"Only hold fast what you have until I come . . . keep . . . my works until the end." Revelation 2:25, 26b