Joy is lively, she’s undeterred, strong, and tall. And sometimes, she wears pink.
Meet Joy: “A state of contentment that cannot be affected by outside sources”.
Definition reference: ‘The one year book of inspiration for girlfriends’ by Ellen Miller.
Nobody’s paying me for this but, I learnt from this book about at least 5 ways of maintaining joy and in line with keeping this post short and sweet, I’ll dive right in.
For people that may want to buy the book, here’s what it looks like;
Three options, same difference… apart from the pricing.
So getting right into it, here’s five ways of finding and maintaining joy:
- No more approval seeking, approve yourself!
Ellen Miller got it right when she said ‘I’m not sure if approval seeking is as a result of our upbringing; I guess if we were little girls whose self-esteem got a boost when Mom and Dad were well pleased, we are probably more likely to need approval from others today’
Seeking approval from others is one way of losing your joy because like my father always says “you can’t please the world”. Jesus Christ couldn’t, so what makes you think you can? In the wise words of Lauryn Hill, “They hail you then nail you, no matter who you are”.
The approval of others is not important to knowing who you are so repeat after me “Someone will not like something I say or do today but that’s okay – God and I are well pleased with me”.
‘The important thing is being your best self. No one else’. The book said it, not me.
2. Reassign your treasure!
How to know your treasure?
“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be” (Matthew 6:21).
Don’t draw your identity, creativity, and self worth from something shakeable and definitely do not commit your sanity or insanity to something unsure. Realise you can, you should and you will retain your joy and strength regardless of the outside situation.
3. Recognise ‘this moment’ and be in it.
Be present in the now! Yesterday and tomorrow are outside forces so don’t let their anxieties, stressors, demands and 50 shades of dark or 50 shades darker (not for the futura, Amen!) rob you of this moment.
‘You are surrounded by safety for the Lord is watching over you‘ (adopted from Psalms 3:4-5).
4. Lend a hand/ Forgive.
Lending a hand, giving something away and making someone smile does something in our bodies because it feels good. It feels good to know someone’s day improved because of your existence. Also, forgiveness is freeing and being free is joyful.
5. Glory in what you have.
The more you dwell on what you don’t have, the harder it is to find joy so do the opposite! Look at the things/people/pets in your life with fresh eyes and be excited by them.
‘Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want but the realisation of how much you already have’ – Anon.
A bit of mine;
Bonus: I learnt yesterday that our ability to recognise that a person is depressed/sad and empathise is based on the fact that the same part of our brain as the other person’s is stimulated. In neuroimaging, you’d see that same part light up and that’s how we can relate to sad movies and cry along with them and funny videos and laugh along as well, you get the gist. So surround yourself with people and things that’ll light up the ‘happy’ brain, and think on things that’ll keep it lit.