3 Easy Steps to Spark Joy Especially During Difficult Times
It’s easy to be stressed with everything that’s been happening in the world lately. Perhaps you may be one of those whose job got affected by the pandemic, or you may be dealing with some health, financial or relationship issues right now. In times like these, is it possible to still find true joy? The good news is, the answer to that question is yes! You can experience joy even in the most stressful times and the path to it is quite simple.
1) Develop an attitude of gratitude
On top of our list is to practice gratitude everyday. Before you raise your eyebrows and wonder how it can help, take note that gratitude is not only a feel-good advice but also supported by science. Based on a research published by University of California Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine, those who wrote gratitude letters have experienced better mental health compared to those who only recorded their negative experiences and received counseling. The study involved almost 300 adults and a majority of them were college students seeking mental health counseling at a university. Other studies also suggest that gratitude helps stimulate joy and promotes a more positive outlook in life.
Practising gratitude in your daily life is quite simple. Take some time in your day to recount everything that you’re thankful for. They don’t have to be grand, it can be something as simple as “I’m thankful for the roof over my head”, or “I appreciate that there’s clean drinking water for me to drink.” Write these in a journal and read it out loud at the end of the day. This will help you see that there are still things in your life that you’re privileged to have or experience even though you’re going through a tough time.
However, take note that you may not feel its immediate effects and that’s okay. Joy gradually increases with daily prayers of gratitude and the effects on your brain can last for a long time, based on studies.
2) Be present
When you’re bombarded with problems, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. And when you think about what may happen in the future based on your current situation, you may feel even more hopeless or in despair. Thinking about the past and worrying about the future can rob you of the joy of today. This is why staying present is important especially during difficult times. Take life one day at a time. It would also be great to practise meditation to ground you to the present.
3) Do something you love (No matter how small it may be)
Practice focusing on little joy-inducing moments in the present, whether it's repeating your favorite music, planting new flowers in the garden, performing yoga, or meeting a good friend. It can also be lighting up a scented candle, praying, or watching funny videos. Finding joy becomes more natural when we set aside time each day to accomplish something meaningful, no matter how tiny.
While these tips may help, remember that it is normal to feel down from time to time and it’s okay. Feel whatever you’re feeling and cry if you want. However, we pray that you always find your way back to the path of joy.
If you or someone you care about is dealing with extreme sadness or grief or if you need help with your spiritual health, contact us. We’re here to help.