Choosing Gratitude is the Key to Finding Joy During Difficult Times
For some people, it’s not easy to find joy today. The headlines scream at us about US political unrest, social divisions, mass shootings, hurricanes, floods, the war in Europe, inflation in the US, RSV, Covid – the list is endless. Where is the joy in all of that? Surprisingly, right under our noses. And bestselling author Louise Pistole can show us how to find it.
“Life has its ups and downs, but sometimes challenging events occur all at once. When our world is turned upside down, it’s normal to feel a lack of joy.
“Most adults will experience multiple severe traumas and losses throughout their lives. Loss of joy in these contexts is a natural part of the human experience.
“For some people, however, the lack of joy persists or appears out of the blue. This may occur in a mood disorder like depression.” – Stephanie Collier, MD, MPH, Contributor to Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School.
Pistole says, “During these stressful times, I encourage others to look for ‘moments of joy’ in everyday places in your day. Hold onto these moments and commit them to memory. Remembering and reliving even small moments will bring you back to your joyful center.
“Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be filled with joy. Even on tough days when you’re struggling, you have the ability to find your own joy. You just have to make a conscious decision to turn your day around.
“Remember, you are the master of your own joy!
Choosing Gratitude is your pathway to Choosing Joy!
“If you can find a few moments every day to express gratitude, you will soon see your life make a change in a positive direction. As simple as this idea is, it is also sometimes difficult to be grateful when everything in your life seems to be packed full of negativity.
“One of the simplest ideas is to say ‘thank you’ every morning as soon as you wake up. You can follow up with a few things you are grateful for which increases the gratitude in your heart. But just saying those two words, ‘thank you,’ will definitely start your day off on solid footing.
“Gradually ease yourself into writing a gratitude list in a journal. Don’t overthink it. Just write whatever comes to mind.
“This is also a good time to get your kids involved with gratitude. Teach them to say ‘thank you’ for any blessing, large or small, that comes their way.
“As you begin to make gratitude a habit, you will find that the more grateful you are, the more good things will come your way.
“This simple habit of being grateful is truly your pathway to joy.
Hope Anchors Your Soul
“Joy doesn’t simply happen. You have to intentionally ‘choose joy,’ and you have to choose to be joyful every day. It comes from a light deep within your soul. Joy really is a state of mind.
“How do you reclaim your JOY when you’re struggling with a tough day or situation? Start by refusing to let negative thoughts take root in your mind, then choose a better feeling activity.
“Hope is being positive under circumstances that are considered to be desperate. It is during the storms of our lives that we need to maintain our positive thoughts and cling to hope.
“Hope can heal the hurt or pain deep inside of you. It allows you to see the light even on the darkest days. It gives you courage, determination, and perseverance to cope and move forward. Your current problems seem less difficult to bear as you follow your beacon of hope.
“Through gratitude, positive thoughts, and hope, joy can be yours.”
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