Choose Joy

The world is completely chaotic right now. Everyday something changes. Abnormal is the new normal and for many of us the uncertainty of it all is making it hard to be optimistic. Yes, even those of us irritatingly happy people have found it hard to remain hopeful at times. I have decided that that’s okay. We all  deserve to have our moment to reflect and feel everything that’s going on. So let’s say you have done that. You have felt the sadness; you’ve given yourself time to grieve and now you’re over. You want to move on. What do you do? I suggest this… Choose Joy!

Choosing joy means deciding that even though there are uncomfortable circumstances outside of your control, you will still decide to find reasons to smile. I have heard it said that happiness depends on happenstances, but joy comes from a positive perspective. Joy is the assurance in your heart that although there are things happening in your life that you do not like or can’t control, ultimately everything will be okay. You can make the choice to release control and take  hold of peace – take hold of the belief that there is good in everything.

So what does choosing joy look like? I’m glad you asked. Check out the list below for 10 ideas of activities designed to help you spark joy!

    1. Make a list of the good that is in your life despite present difficulties.
    2. Search online for positive news stories.
    3. Find 3 things that you can do to help someone else.
    4. Listen to your favorite song.
    5. Mediate on your favorite scripture, mantra or positive saying.
    6. Reconnect with the people in your life who make you smile.
    7. Watch a movie that always makes you laugh.
    8. Go for a walk.
    9. Play with your kids or pets.
    10. Eat your favorite meal.

I know what you’re thinking; it can’t be that simple. But it is! That’s the whole thing about joy. It is an internal reality. It is not dependent on the circumstances of life. Joy is about identifying the little positives that remain no matter what the situation is. And this is by no means an exhaustive list. I hope that it sparks ideas in you of other things you can do, words you can say, thoughts you can think, prayers you can pray to release the anxiety, fear, worry and sadness that you may be feeling. While it is true that uncertainty may continue to be part of our journey, it is also true that you can choose how to cope with it. I highly recommend that you choose joy.

Ashleigh R. Dennis-Silas, LPC, CPCS is the Clinical Manager of CHRIS Counseling Center-Gwinnett. She can be reached at Ashleigh.Silas@CHRIS180.org.

Ashleigh Silas, LPC, CPCS
ashleigh.silas@CHRIS180.org
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