Lets be real here – Adam and Eve screwed us …a little. They ate the darn apple and now we live in a fallen world…but the good news is, WE CAN STILL FIND JOY. We, you, me, EVERYONE….we are in charge of our joy. It is our job to find it. To put your blinders on, shut out the distractions of the world, stay on the path, and keep on keeping on. For some time now I have been researching joy. You are probably thinking- “She’s some sort of happy nut”. Well maybe, and thats okay you can say that. I have read a lot of books on happiness and finding it. I think the point of finding joy was to calm my anxiety (it use to be really bad). Some things that I discovered a long the way were these things:
1) You can’t control other’s feelings, you can only control your’s. . . SO SMILE
Don’t let people’s opinions tear you down. People are always going to say something about you and your life but WHO THE HECK CARES? THEY AREN’T YOU.
2) If you smile when you are not happy you will eventually become happy (you trick yourself)
3) Count your blessings
I don’t think I can emphasize this one enough. Those moments in the day when you pause, be present, and thank God. I always think about water. It amazes me that water just flows out of my faucet. I don’t have to walk ten miles to get it. How freaking lucky am I? Yes my bed hurts my back but I HAVE A BED. I can go out to eat, sit with my husband, and just enjoy the moment with out bombs going off. You are probably thinking I am being a little extreme but am I really? I DARE YOU to make a list of all you have. Go through your day and just say, “THANK YOU”.
4) Be excited for the little things
I don’t know what it is but the little things bring me a lot of joy.
5) Serve Others
Whether this is volunteering or just giving someone a ride you can’t deny that there is some sort of happiness that sizzles inside when you help others. So go out and volunteer!
6) Don’t Ever Become Complacent- If you do, switch up your routine
Is your life boring? Do you do the same thing everyday?
Go a different way to work, go to a different coffee shop, take up a new hobby, volunteer! Make new friends.
7) Step out of your comfort zone
No one ever grew by doing the same thing everyday. Fear is your enemy and a JOY STEALER. Do something that you never thought you would do! Plan a new trip, or even talk to someone on the street!
8) Never stop learning
The mind was meant to grow and prosper. If you aren’t doing anything to grow you are killing your mind. Why is Lebron James the best at basketball? It’s not just because he is an extremely talented player, he studies and continuously learns his craft. – He studies other players. My grandfather went to college (I am not joking) until he was in his 80’s. He loves to learn and he is so vibrant and alive in his 90’s. Read a book. Learn a trade.
9) Do what you love
Something was missing in my life and I KNEW I had to bring art back into my life. I had to paint again. I took a class at the VMFA (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts) even though I have an art degree the joy that came from that little class was huge. I met new people and I was in real studio again. Sure it wasn’t cheap but it sure made me happy.
10) The Three P’s : Purpose, Passion, and Peace
You can change everything on the outside but unless you have a purpose within you, you are just living for the next best thing. For me (now don’t think I am getting churchy on you, this is strictly opinion) my purpose, passion, and peace comes from my faith in Christ. I have a stability in Him, knowing that its always going to be okay. This world is temporary and I’m just passing through.
Joy is attainable even in the darkest of times – you just have to look. Honestly, if you look hard enough you can always find a positive in anything.