Joy ~ A source of pleasure, delight and wonder.
To be joyful ~ charmed by life, happy, nestled into enjoyment and bliss.
Lately I am focusing on finding the joy in my life, every single day. It is an incredible journey for me and I can’t resist sharing this little gem with the world.
My story begins with stress with a capital S. For various reasons I have felt overwhelmed, pressurised by others and stressed out in recent weeks. This has left me with the usual symptoms of being out of balance; ringing ears, a bad back, headaches and tears, sleepless nights and emotional turmoil that I neither want nor need within my life. I haven’t felt that way in a long time and it shocked me when I found myself in tears and unable to sleep. Life is far too short and precious to be wasted on such destructive feelings. I know this deep within me and yet I felt stressed and powerless to do anything other than keep plodding onwards until my circumstances changed. As I reached for a big fat bar of chocolate and a glass of wine the other day I decided that enough is enough. There is another way to cope other than a sugar high and it involves my mind. I reminded myself that it is my choice to react (or not) to external influences in my life and there will always be moments that test my positivity and resilience to stress. I cannot change the world around me to that extent, I am not responsible for others behaviour, but I can change my internal world. I backed away from the chocolate (after a brief nibble of course) and decided to focus on a more natural approach. Put simply, my cure is Finding Joy. And it works.
I am a huge believer in the power of the mind, especially how a positive mental attitude can and does affect our emotional and physical health. Since my stress with a capital S moment I am working hard to engage my mind positively and spread Joy. I am spreading Joy on my toast in the morning like there is no tomorrow, I am handing it out at work to anyone that crosses my path, I am smiling at the sunshine, clouds and rain and singing joyously when I least feel like it. I can’t say it is particularly easy to be this way when I am tired and feeling sea sick at work or falling asleep at the kitchen table but I am trying my best and reaping the rewards already. Every time I feel stress creeping back towards me I try even harder to slap it in the face with a healthy dose of bliss, laughter at the small things in life and a little chocolate.
My circumstances haven’t changed a great deal but already I am feeling rested, my back hurts less and I am more balanced. I am returning to a feeling of utter thanks and gratitude for my life. I am extremely lucky to be alive, well fed and housed and to be working in a job that allows me to meet wonderful people and enjoy watching wildlife with them every day. By being joyful I am appreciating those moments even more and I have noticed that those around me become happier as well. My positive attitude lifts their mood and, of course, that lifts mine even more. We are creating an awesome positive feedback loop; A Happy-Go-Round!
The power of the mind. It is just incredible and gives us a way to cope with the stresses and strains of life. How about next time you are feeling stressed, you have a go at spreading a little joy on your toast in the morning? Add a splash to your cup of coffee, swirl it around and see how it improves your day. Be joyful and laugh.