Joy is something that we all strive for. It’s something that we know we have when we have it. It’s conversely something that we know that we’re missing, when we don’t have it. But what is joy? It’s defined as being: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
If it’s a feeling then that means it’s something that is subject to whim and can change from moment to moment. But what if it’s something more. What if it’s more permanent and doesn’t change according to the wind. What if it’s a decision and what if that decision to be ‘full’ of joy is something that you can totally control?
I’d like to suggest to you that joy is in fact a decision and something that is completely within your control.
Children seem to automatically have joy. They giggle, laugh, splash in a puddle and do all of this things without any apparent inhibition. They will run like the wind and think nothing of it. They have joy! You can tell by that laugh and unrestrained giggle. It should make you stop and think. We can make excuses as to why we don’t have the joy of a child, but the truth is we can learn some important lessons from them. Consider the following:
Children don’t worry about looking foolish. They play! The run through water not considered if it’s going to get covered with mud. They knew that it will come out. They don’t worry about how their hair is or what their teeth look like. Well at least not until someone ridicules them and puts them down for it. Then their feelings are hurt. But they still have joy within them.
With that in mind, consider that if we give some of their attitudes as a gift to ourselves, we might also have that go. If your teeth need fixed, find a good dentist in your area. Most will work with you. You shouldn’t have to live in pain, which is something that has a way of sapping your strength and joy.
But Wait, There’s More
If you don’t have the clothes that you want. Buy one piece even if it’s from a thrift store. There’s nothing wrong with going there, in fact, often times they have things that are straight from a ‘regular’ department store, for a fraction of the price.
A child’s joy comes from letting go. They don’t hold on to what happened a few minutes ago, let alone yesterday or a week or a year ago. If you don’t know how to let go of things, consider taking classes, getting a counselor or journaling. They’ve (researchers) have found that someone that talks to someone like a hair dresser weekly has as much mental health as one that goes to a counselor. So get your hair done or get a best friend and you will be well on the way to your joy being restored.
Listen to soft music and watch children’s movies. Soft music will get the darkness that’s in so much music out of your mind. If you focus on the dark things in songs, then you’re allowing your joy to be restored. If you listen to classical and soft music, you’ll start to shift your subconscious into something more relaxed. The same with children’s movies. If all you ever do is see shootem’ ups and death, then how can you expect to have jou? You can’t!
So change those things you can. Those things that you do have control over and you’ll find that you’re breathing life into yourself instead of taking it from you. If you’re not sure how to go about it. Consider what things you’d allow your child to do. Consider what things you’d never allow your child to do, and use those things as a guideline.
Remember to be consistent, and if you’ve been lacking joy for some time, it may take some time to get you back to where you belong. But you can do it.