Finding the Joy

Life is difficult and each of us will experience a season in life when joy seems unattainable.  We are left wondering if God is listening, does He care, what does this mean.  During the holidays the family unit is placed with high expectations on gathering and making memories.  It’s an opportunity to take time out of the normal schedule to visit with loved ones.  Difficulties arise when members of a family are no longer present at the dinner table.  Others still dread seeing their family due to fractures and hurts from the past.  The emptiness could be overwhelming.

It’s also one of the busiest seasons of the year with a host of commitments, purchases, and demands, one can feel…well, exhausted and wishing Christmas were over.  Joy is defined as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness or rejoices.  Is that how you are feeling right now? Are you feeling happy?  How can someone find joy in the midst of this hectic season you may wonder? 

During the next year, I will be learning to be a health coach.  One of the things I have learned so far is that health begins with other things that are not food…such as relationships.  A loving relationship can bring joy; in contrast, one that is toxic brings turmoil. Here are some ways to try and find your joy:

  • Pray. Deep relationships with Christ will open doors that will otherwise stay closed.  He cares for us and wants to know every detail we are dealing with.  He has the answers and there is something wonderful about turning our troubles over to Him.   
  • Be grateful.  Practicing gratitude is important in finding joy.  Be thankful for the many blessings in your life.  Everyone has blessings.  Living in the United States is a blessing.  We don’t have to worry about bombs going off today.  Be thankful for family, food in the refrigerator, work, health, family, and the lists go on.  Even a warm house on a cold winter night is a blessing.  Think on these things throughout your daily, and joy will come.
  • Say “No.”  Self care is important. We are conditioned to help others, lend a hand, give care to family, work hard, etc.  We sacrifice ourselves and end up exhausted and sick.  Take time for you.  You are important to many people….they will understand.  Get enough rest so your body can deal with all the things that come at it; and get a massage.

One more thing to consider is that constant negativity will steal not only your joy, but the joy of those around you.  Our brain naturally moves toward negativity.  We find fault and judge others, because that’s our tendency.  That negativity creates anxiety in both parties, which blocks access to higher cerebral functioning.  We will then have difficulty with problem solving and ultimately our relationships with others will suffer.  You may know someone who is negative and you may know someone who is positive.  Which person do you want to spend your time with?  How do people view your position?  Not sure?  Maybe you should ask someone you are close to.

Joy is obtainable.  “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—mediate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9.

Health bite: Joy is inner peace...find yours