What is JOY? There is a distinct difference between joy and happiness. It seems that being happy is a much easier goal to attain. Joy is much deeper and long-lasting. Joy emanates from much more than things, activities, or moments.
We can experience joy even during the tough times. As we work to gain balance in our lives, even during the toughest times, it is crucial that we find time and make time for joy; that is, living joyfully - live a life full of joy.
We can find joy and happiness in our everyday lives. A simple way to think of the difference between happiness and joy is this; happiness occurs when something brings a smile to one’s face, and joy occurs when something warms one’s heart.
When we are stressed and maxed out, joy may not easily find its way into our lives. We will have to seek out those things that make us smile and warm our hearts. The key is to pay attention to these things and then live in that moment!
It is important to surround ourselves with positive experiences and positive people, and eliminate negativity and negative energy in our environment. We need to find a way to change the scenery and be conscious of surrounding ourselves with positive people.
Another path toward Joy in our lives is letting go and being conscious of our thoughts. Often our thoughts are busy with what we really do not want and we must realize that if we are to change our thought patterns. Surrendering those habitual thoughts, bad feelings, and routines can feel difficult and scary sometimes, but it is often the best answer to freeing ourselves into the arms of joy. The divine source of energy is always present and available to you upon request. The better we get at letting go of what we don't want, the easier it will be to have the joy we do want. We just have to ask for it and then open ourselves to receive it.
Practical Ways to Experience Joy
Nature: Sometimes we need to spend some time outside possibly near water (a rushing stream, trickling brook, rolling waves, a lake, or even a fountain. Sometimes we can find joy by taking a walk outside, getting fresh air and communing with the natural world around us.
Beauty: We can experience joy by surrounding ourselves with beauty. We do not need a fancy house to experience joy but having fresh flowers in our homes can add to our joy. My husband regularly buys me inexpensive bouquets of flowers from the Aldi store, a local grocery store, or from Wal-Mart. I almost always have a vase of fresh flowers in my kitchen. Bringing this beauty into our home translates into hearts and minds filled with joy. It does not matter who brings the flowers into one’s home. If you have to buy the flowers yourself or clip them from your garden, then do it. The joy that comes from experiencing the freshness, color and beauty of flowers is wonderful.
Family time: Spending time with our loved ones is very important and can bring us lasting joy. Often families are spread out geographically making it difficult to be together on a regular basis. Therefore, when we do spend time together, it can truly bring us joy. My family and I were able to spend time together recently and I so enjoyed the sound of their laughter and the sharing of memories and also the sharing of a meal.
Sometimes we have difficult issues in our lives that keep us from experiencing true joy. If you are struggling to find joy in your life, our professional compassionate team of therapists can help you find your way through the struggles to a place of lasting joy.