We’re living in difficult times, and lots of folks are having trouble adapting to the changes caused by the pandemic and the fact that life seems irretrievably altered. The line between work and home has blurred for many, and the political climate is full of tensions. Social media is no escape because everybody is in the same boat.

When Better to Embrace the Power of Personal Joy? 

When there’s too much stress, joy seems like a frivolous indulgence or a trivial and unnecessary distraction from everything important. 

Yet, allowing yourself to experience small moments of joy can help you recover, mentally and physically, from all of the stress you are under. Rather than a distraction, tiny spots of joy can help restore your emotional resources and allow you to find new energy to work through your difficulties. In other words, joy is the key to resilience.

How Can You Find Joy When Times Are Hard?

Joy is a discipline that you cultivate within yourself. Train your brain to relish small moments of beauty and happiness every day, and let yourself experience gratitude for each. 

Here are three ways you can start embracing joy:

  • Practice living in the moment. If you can focus on the positive things you are experiencing right now, it can help you keep your thoughts away from future problems that may never come to pass.
  • Consider starting a journal. At the end of each day, write down anything during the day that made you happy or grateful, no matter how small.
  • Do something you find meaningful. Dig into a new hobby, pick up your old artistic pursuits or take up walking — whatever you can fully immerse yourself in for a few moments at a time.

You can find joyful moments in simple things, whether that’s just stopping to appreciate the color of the leaves as they change on the trees or taking the time to fully savor the aroma and taste of your first cup of coffee in the morning. 

Can You Contaminate Others With Joy?

Joyfulness, much like other emotions, is contagious. Spread your joy by choosing to be kind, through random acts of kindness, and by purposefully sharing uplifting moments with others.

Call a friend to reminisce about old times or pull the family together around the kitchen table for game night. It’s not the size of the experience that matters, but the quality.

Remember: Resilience is what can help you overcome adversity. In troubled times, choosing joy is perhaps the most radical action you can take.

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