CHOOSE JOY, IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL!
8th July 2021
Blessings – Anna xo
Have you ever wanted more joy in your life?
Maybe if you got that job, or had that house, or went on that holiday???!!!!!
While it is great to strive for goals, have you noticed once you have reached those goals you just look at the next “If I had…I would be happy” list.
First let us explore the difference between HAPPY and JOY. Happiness is often externally triggered based on things, places, thoughts and events, happiness is fleeting and unreliable.
Joy is far more reliable and consistent and is cultivated internally. It comes from inner peace with who you are, regardless of your circumstances. It is a conscious purposeful behavior that dramatically effects our health and well-being.
Joy – gladness not based on circumstance. (1 Peter 1:8-9)
Does joy benefit our health?
Sure does, and scientific studies have revealed many physical health benefits. Joy promotes a healthier lifestyle, supports the immune system, helps combat stress and pain, supports longevity, less risk of cardiovascular disease, and can also assist with quicker recover times when overcoming illness or surgery.
“A joyful heart is good medicine…” Proverbs 17:22
So here are just some of the ways to promote more joy in your life.
Cultivate joy by practicing gratitude.
To help get you started, habitually make a daily list of at least 10 things that reveal the blessings in your life. I am more than aware of how difficult this can be in times of challenging circumstances. One of many examples turning pain and suffering into praise and gratitude can be found in the foundational core of Gospel music.
Through immense hardship and injustice these precious people have been given a unique voice with uplifting harmonies and sound like no other to express gratitude and joy. So perhaps start off small and simple, like when you wake up each morning just be grateful you woke up to see another day. Having a thankful heart also has health benefits. It improves sleep, boosts immunity, enhances empathy, reduces aggression, and increases benefits for healthy mental wellbeing.
Generosity is also a positive way to cultivate joy.
When we give freely and cheerfully of ourselves without reluctance or feeling compelled either with our finances or our time it takes the focus off ourselves and again has amazing health benefits. High generosity people are less likely to feel a range of negative emotions, including hopelessness, depression, apathy, and anxiety. It has a positive effect on the brain by lowering stress levels and increase self-esteem. It can lower blood pressure and even lengthen your life!! So, looks like it ‘is’ better to give than receive after all!
Forgiveness a powerful joy booster.
Research has revealed that forgiveness is linked to positive mental health and well-being outcomes, which include reduced anxiety, depression, major psychiatric disorders and less physical health symptoms. It improves self-esteem and a stronger immune system. It promotes a sense of peace and freedom to move forward towards a brighter future. As the song says….’Let it Go!..Let it Go!”
Other ways to promote joy includes looking after yourself and others, for example taking care of your health and well-being, learn to relax, light a candle, take a warm bath with soothing essential oils, make sure you get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, exercise, eat for a healthy life, spend time with family, friends, nature, and animals. Also be mindful of what you watch and listen to on social media and T.V.
Be aware of your words, not just what you say to others but also to yourself, do your words speak life and encouragement and are kind or perhaps not so nice, non-productive, even hurtful? What we speak has a powerful effect on our health, either positive or negative.
Finally, for all who feel overwhelmed with life whether past, present or future and see themselves like the back of a large tapestry, not making sense of the messy loose knots and tangled threads, be encouraged, lift your head for when you turn the tapestry over, what will be revealed is every intricate thread has its perfect purpose from the brightest colour thread to the darkest, all your pain, battles, struggles and joy will reveal beauty within that is truly unimaginable.
Note to self: Choose to be joyful because you have purpose and are an amazingly, absolutely, uniquely treasured, and beautiful work of art!!!