While traveling this past weekend in one of my favorite places – Asheville, NC – I saw this bumper sticker that said,
Don’t Postpone Joy
And I thought, YES! I love that!
And I love that because there were many years that I postponed my own joy and thought I’ll be happy when…
I’m not teaching anymore, when I get over my depression, when I get off this medication, when this rain stops, when summer gets here, when I have 10 more counseling sessions….
God wants us to enjoy life every single day.
In our American busy, busy culture we often think, ‘Well, I’ll be happy when….’
- I get a new job.
- I move.
- My husband does…
- It’s sunny.
- I feel better.
What is your fill in the blank?
Why not choose joy now? In this moment. No matter what is going on in your life.
You might be going through the deepest, darkest valley EVER! And joy is nowhere to be seen. And everything is tough. And there’s no money. And life sucks.
why not choose joy now?
Joy is a choice.
So, maybe you’re thinking, “How in the world do I do that?”
Here’s 5 tips to help you choose joy now:
1. Start a Gratitude Practice
If you have followed my posts for any length of time you have probably seen me mention gratitude before. (I talk about it a lot because it is sooooo important.) Being grateful for what we have opens our life up to more of that! What we appreciate appreciates. Ann Voskamp wrote a book and devotional titled, One Thousand Gifts. It’s an amazing journey into gratitude. I highly recommend it!
2. Dive Into God’s Word
The Bible has so many powerful stories and accounts of people who were persecuted and chose joy anyways (Paul, David….). They are true inspirations. I am not in jail and don’t have an entire country’s army chasing after me. Things are not as bad for me as they were for them and they were able to choose joy.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
Meditation creates time and space for stillness in the midst of our crazy, busy lives. It can be 2 minutes or 20 minutes or more. Meditation helps to calm the crazy in our minds. If you have a mind that runs like a train – like I do – then slowing that train down and breathing can bring a sense of peace and calm and joy. We don’t have to be busy 24 hours a day to make God happy. He wants us to create quiet time to be with him each and every day. A meditation practice can help you do just that.
4. Do Yoga
Yoga has been a modality that has literally saved my life. It also creates time and space for gentle movement and stillness (which is very hard for me! Anyone else out there?!?!) The breath work in yoga has not only helped my physical health but also my mental health and allowed me to slow down enough to be grateful for this very moment. When I am grateful it is much easier for me to choose joy.
5. Make Healthy Food Choices
This might sound crazy but the food you eat can actually affect your mental health. It is common knowledge that if we eat crappy food we will feel crappy physically. Well, that also goes for mentally. You either feed your body health or you feed your body dis-ease. It’s much easier to choose joy when you feel good physically. Feed your body organic whole foods and watch your joy level increase! Whoop!
Are you ready to choose joy?!?! Comment below and let us know you’re choosing joy today!