Joy is hard to find when we focus on what went wrong in the past, what is wrong now or what will possibly go wrong in the future.
If we focus on what went wrong in our lives and keep that in the forefront of our minds, then we are living in the past and if it wasn’t a good past then why choose to live in it? If the past was better than the present we can tend to live there too. We must of course learn from our past mistakes and reminiscing isn’t a problem, as long as we don’t long for those times so much that we can’t live in the now.
If we focus on what is currently wrong in our lives then we are not seeing what is currently right in our lives. This can cause great unhappiness (that sounds like an ancient proverb).
Seeing and enJOYing what’s right in our lives right now is the trick.
People need meaning in their lives as well. Depression and addiction (just to name two) are prevalent if there is no meaning in a person’s life.
If you really can’t see much that’s right in your life then you need to create it.
Here are some ways:
- Volunteer your help somewhere. When you give of yourself life becomes more meaningful. (If you struggle with your health then volunteer once a month instead of every week).
- children who need help with reading or homework
- elderly people or neighbours who are lonely
- dogs that are left alone all day
- people who can’t manage to do their shopping
- sick people who need a visit to cheer them up
- people who can’t manage to mow their lawn or do their washing
- young parents you may know who would love a babysitter so that they can go out
Or….. how about a list from your senses to bring you some joy?
Write a list of all the things you like to do relating to your five senses, then choose one of them to do. Here’s my list with 3 examples of each…..
|*A cloudy sky
*Anything I can photograph
|*soft fluffy blankets
|*ice cold water on a hot day
*miraculous juicy fruit (it’s amazing, it comes off a tree!)
These are just a few of mine. What are yours?
Gratitude – focus on your blessings
- Write down five things every night that you are grateful for. When you notice how many things are good in your life you will start to see things differently. If you struggle with this then start with the things you may take for granted such as “I have a blanket to cover me with” or “I have fresh water that comes out of a tap” . Watch your life change when you start to notice what you DO have. Ophrah Winfrey talks a lot about gratitude journals – here is a link to her short video.
Lastly, if we focus on what is going to go wrong in our lives we spend our time worrying and feeling anxious and how can that be enjoyable? We can work towards something we want in the future, true, but spending all of our time worrying about it is soul destroying. And can you really tell the future? How do you know what’s going to happen?
I know I said “lastly” but this is important…… Loving and accepting ourselves and others is key to creating joy in our lives. If we judge and hate ourselves, how are we going to love our lives? If we hate and judge others, how can we have meaningful connection?
If you struggle to do this yourself, find someone who can help you.
(Photos by Author)