Lately, there has been a lot of talk about depression and mental illness, so I wanted to chat with you about finding the joy in everyday life. There is joy all around you, we just have to be open to finding it. Some may be asking, how? Here are three tips that have helped me find my joy.
The reason I say joy and not happiness is because I believe that joy can’t be taken away. It’s something that you have deep down inside of you. Happiness is dependent on whats happening. If things are going bad, you’re unhappy but when things are going good, you’re happy.
Since joy is deeper, there is nothing that can still your joy. No matter the circumstances that surround you, you can always find joy.
Gratitude: Every morning, the first thing I do is to thank God for another day on this earth. Then I take a moment and thank Him for my state of mind, my body and use of limbs, the breath that I take that lets me know I’m alive. I also love to journal and I always take a moment during my journaling to list some of the things that I’m grateful for that day. It can be as small as my morning coffee or as big as you want, it’s just a way to remind yourself of the blessings that we receive every day.
I’ve been in the state of not realizing my blessings because of all the hardships that I was going through, that’s when I started thinking of even the smallest things, such as someone opening the door for me or the lady that let me go in front of her in line because I had only two items. In order to start training our mind and hearts to see the blessings, we have to think of all the little reasons which add up to major blessings.
Appreciate Where You are and What You Have: With social media, so many of us are chasing a lifestyle that we see in social media not realizing that we are only seeing the fun, exotic side of life in those pictures. The pictures don’t tell the story of how they got there, it only shows what’s happening at the moment.
You have the opportunity to live in this very moment that is filled with love, family, and friends. You have so much in your life right now and in order to have more, you have to appreciate what you have right now. We are not blessed with more when we take for granted all of the blessings we have now. How can you want a big house, but you won’t take care of the apartment you have? And has it crossed your mind that there is someone less than a mile from you that is homeless and would love to have just one room in your apartment? There are people in parts of the world whose home is the size of your walk-in closet and they are happy to have a roof over there heads.
Our appreciation of where we are and what we have is so important because it reminds us that we are blessed and that blessing brings joy. Many of us are one decision away from a bad decision or the best decision ever. What decisions are you making to create joy in your life?
Turn your L’s into Lessons: Over the last few years I’ve lost a lot including myself in depression, but I’m grateful because I’ve turned those losses into lessons, which have given me more confidence in myself and control over my depression. When we lose in life, we tend to dwell on it and if we dwell too long, it becomes a part of us and we tend to do damage to ourselves and to our relationships. It gets harder and harder to pull yourself out of this feeling if you keep thinking about it, so the best thing to do is to find the reason or the lesson in the loss.
It’s easier said than done, but it is completely doable, you just have to be willing and open to do the work. I did the work and was able to step into the shoes of my Ex and see from his point of view about how I played a huge role in the destruction of our marriage. It was a hard pill to swallow, but at that moment, I learned so much about myself and how I was so insecure and self-absorb that I pushed someone I loved out of my life. Seeing myself that way was difficult, but it also opened my eyes and my heart to the type of woman and wife that I want to be in the future and the work I need to do to get there.
Doing this exercise brought joy to me because I was able to accept the marriage ended and I was able to see myself in a different light which allowed me to change aspects of myself that needed to change. The change is what brought me joy because when we take a loss and turn it into a lesson, we grow and become better.
I’m hoping that these three tips help you to find that joy that already resides within you if you’ve been dealing with unhappiness, stress or depression. As you can see, I’ve been there and it took some work to truly find joy again, but the beautiful thing is that you can find it and keep it.
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