Each day I see another post or get a phone call or an email from someone who is just fighting to put one foot in front of the other. I’m not talking about people going through serious life trials. No, the common theme I’m addressing here is that there is just so much “bad” going on in the world, that things are just so negative that they can’t seem to find their joy again. I wanted to write something as encouragement and talk about finding your joy in a broken world.
*Now, let me just say right here that this post is not for anyone struggling with true depression. That is a medical condition and you’ll never “smile” your way out of that. There is
But for the rest of us. The ones who are just being brought low by world events and cultural struggles, I want to encourage you to do one thing: Be the Light
Don’t write me off here as some Pollyanna. Of course we can’t all go around being happy 24/7. Life is difficult. We are emotional beings. Tragedies and struggles will befall each of us at some point. But thats the beauty of this concept isn’t it?– someone could be there for YOU when you are in need of a little compassion or help. I don’t think we have to share a belief system to see the benefit here. Let me explain:
Yes, we live in a world that is broken and its full of many people who are bitter, angry and lost. Instead of concentrating on that fact, or focusing your thoughts on how to “deal” with them…… Make the decision to Be The Light.
The fastest way to forget your own burdens is to help someone else with theirs. I know that can seem counterintuitive when you’re the one feeling low yourself, but trust me- this is how you will find your joy. As human beings, we are hard-wired to need human companionship and relationships. We also live in a culture where so much of the way we communicate is done via technology and we all know that in many ways, technology helps us to hide our true selves, thus stunting true relationship building. Make the effort here.
I’m not talking about herculean effort :
Be a non judgmental ear for a friend that needs to talk.
A genuine SMILE , whether to your spouse, your child, or a complete stranger truly does brighten someone’s day! (How often do we NOT smile to those we live with?!)
Do something nice. Open a door, offer to help someone in a bind, send a note to a friend, take your mom to lunch. There are literally millions of ways to just….be NICE.
Random Acts of Kindness: Send someone flowers, Send a struggling college student a gift card, pay for someones coffee, take out someones garbage, shovel snow off of a neighbor’s steps.
These are just examples, but waking up each day with the thought of being “light” will change your perspective. When you make the decision to genuinely SEARCH for beauty in little things and as you look for small opportunities to just brighten someone’s day- YOU will change. YOU will be filled with a joy and an energy that will splash out onto those around you. And it will ripple, friends!
And here’s the thing: that splash….that ripple? It’s happening regardless of what you do…….you get to decide whether that energy is positive or negative. This is an area of life where “faking it until you make it” really works. It may not come naturally at first, but just make the decision and get after it. Your beautiful heart will do so much more good than you could ever imagine!
More steps in Finding Your Joy:
Turn Off The News. If you are struggling right now, I highly encourage you to stop watching the news. If you feel the need to stay informed with media, then READ your news. And read with discernment, friends. Remember, every single author (including me!) is trying to get you to believe something. Its up to YOU to decide whether you buy it or not…. and then why or why not. Turn Off The News.
Spend less time on social media. Set a timer if you need to. Additionally, if your social media feed isn’t making you happy- UNFOLLOW. My social media feed is a happy place for me- I unfollow people who post about politics or whose feeds aren’t positive. Carve out a social feed that is happy and encouraging
Spend more time outdoors. Science has proven that spending more time outside actually changes your brain for the better. It benefits your mental health and anywhere from 45-70% of us don’t get enough of it.
Exercise. From taking a stroll in your neighborhood to swimming to yoga to training for an Iron Man……. just find something you enjoy and do it. It will make you happy!
Read or listen to something positive every day. The Bible, a podcast, a book of motivational quotes- get positive and joyful words from those who have gone before us. “The Happiness Advantage” is one of my favorites.
Friends, don’t be surprised or pulled down by our broken world. Change your perspective, and while you still work to make changes to this planet we live on don’t forget how your own joy can change those around you: Be The Light.
If you have ways that help you to keep your joy in the midst of difficult times, please share them in the comments!
I hope that this post was an encouragement to you, it was definitely a good reminder for me as I wrote it. If you found it helpful, please consider pinning this post.
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You may also be interested in my post about self care over 40.
Until Next Time!