Joy is our natural default emotion. We came into this world as a joyful being and we are here on Planet Earth to bask in that joy and to expand our joy outward into the Universe. But today, I want to talk with you about seeking joy when you feel overwhelmed.
There are hours or days of our lives, sometimes even seasons, that we do not feel joyful. Anxiety, depression, trauma, abuse are only a few of the reasons you may feel joyless.
Sometimes, life just builds on you leaving you overwhelmed. The car won’t start. One of the kids is sick. There are more bills to pay than money in the bank. Life turns into a rat race and you’re barely holding it together.
I have a few thoughts to share that will guide you from overwhelmed to joyful.
“Gratitude builds a wellspring of joy in your heart.
– Discover Your Joy
Gratitude is Your Path to 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.
And, start saying grace at mealtimes with your family around the table. There’s a certain peace that comes with this practice. If you don’t already have a blessing to use, here is one that my Daddy regularly said. Try it tonight.
“Bless this food and thank you for the many blessings we have received. Pardon our sins for Jesus’ sake. Amen.”
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.
One Step at a Time
Take time to consider where you are in life right now. Then, think of one thing that would be even the smallest step forward. Over the next few days, concentrate on that thought until you actually feel or believe it.
Now, choose a new thought that’s even better than the last one. Focus on this thought several times a day for several days until this feeling resonates with you.
Continue this process and watch how it moves you forward into a better place.
“Positive thoughts help you move away from pain.”
– Discover Your Joy
Hope Anchors Your Soul
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.
Courage is what keeps you fighting the battle even when you don’t have the strength. Sometimes, it’s your quiet self saying, “I will not give up. I will try again tomorrow.”
“Hope wraps you in a tender embrace when you are trapped in the harsh storms of life.”
Nurture Your Spirit Through Self-Care
Imagine if you could slow the pace of your life down and swap the chaos for calm. Here are a few simple ideas to map out your very own routine of self-care activities. They will open your mind, allow you to get in touch with your inner self, and find your joyful center.
Yoga combines breathing, stretching, and meditation to reduce stress. It’s the perfect recipe to free yourself from feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
Yoga also opens up your mind and fills you with positive energy. Your thoughts are clearer, your mind is more creative, and you can focus on the details of your day.
Meditation is a state of mind that declutters your brain and helps you to let go of negativity. The result of daily meditation is a heightened self-awareness that guides your actions so that the focus is always peace and calm.
Your body knows how to heal itself. The struggle is to silence your mind and let your body take charge.
Breathe… Stay calm… Relax… Be still… Refresh your soul… And, choose joy.
Affirmations are powerful statements that influence your subconscious mind to develop new habits. Say these statements every day or several times a day to anchor them in your mind. With your self-care routine, your goal is to be less stressed so try repeating these statements.
I am calm and relaxed.
I am in control.
My stress is melting away.
I am strong in mind, body, and spirit.
I am in charge of my life.
My favorite affirmation is, “I am enough. All is well.”
Lift yourself up with affirmations and believe in yourself. One step at a time, keep moving forward.
Reading inspirational books, or ones on spirituality, helps you to develop an awareness of acceptance, tolerance, and forgiveness. The time you spend reading stretches your mind and expands your horizons. Books hold the power to transform your life. Start with reading just a few pages each night.
Let nature calm your mind. When life is hectic, a walk outside will re-energize you and help you to focus. Put away your phone and listen to the birds sing or perhaps hear some babbling water. Watch the squirrels foraging for food. Observe how tall the trees are. Find a spot to sit and simply take it all in.
For me, being outside is one of the most calming places to clear my mind and restore my soul.
Journaling is both therapeutic and a powerful tool for dealing with life’s challenges. Writing in a journal, or journaling, offers many benefits including increasing gratitude, helping to process your thoughts and emotions, and leading you to be more mindful. It can reduce stress and bring peace to your life. By committing your thoughts to paper, you will often discover a positive solution.
I, personally, have written in journals for over 20 years. Reading back over pages that were written a long time ago brings new inspiration to my soul today.
“Following your joy is one piece of taking care of yourself.”
– Discover Your Joy
Choose Joy Every Day
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.
Even if you’re not in a place to choose joy every day, 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!
Through gratitude, positive thoughts, hope, and self-care, joy can be yours.
“Experiencing the valleys of life gives us the appreciation to sing from the hilltops.”
– Discover Your Joy
Don’t let anxiety, depression, trauma, or abuse leave you feeling overwhelmed and joyless. Use some of the ideas above to move towards living a joyful life.
I would like to close today with a short prayer for anxiety by Rev. David Adam.
Calm me, O Lord, as you stilled the storm,
Still me, O Lord, keep me from harm,
Let all the tumult within me cease:
Enfold me, Lord, in your peace.
“JOY! It’s your choice. Every day!”
– Discover Your Joy
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