Rejoice! We all love to have joy and be glad in heart! But some days it is harder than others to achieve. We’ve heard it said, “It’s a choice to rejoice!” Notice that this is most often said from an extremely happy person to someone who isn’t.
Truth be told, I’ve wanted to hang up the phone or throw something at the person who says it to me when I’m just not “there”. Joy is not a light switch. We don’t just turn it on or off on command. Joy is like a geyser that bubbles up within our soul and explodes outward. We can’t force it, but we can ignite it.
Joy is a powerful weapon that is often misunderstood. Laughter shifts atmospheres, releases happy chemicals in our brains, and restores our souls.
When I struggle with joy, I do a couple of things to stir it up again.
1. I check my thoughts. Is what I’m thinking about full of faith, hope, and love or am I auditioning to be the next Debbie Downer?
2. I choose to bring to remembrance things that make me laugh. I had a roommate that once unknowingly touched a bird. She freaked out so much that she ran smack into the glass door, finally opened it, and proceeded to do laps around the coffee table screaming! It still cracks me up!
3. I think about the people in my life that bring joy to my heart. I think about something they said, they did, or they gave me. These thoughts remind me that I’m loved and cared about.
4. I intentionally search for things that will make me laugh. Tim Hawkins, John Crist, puppies, made up songs from my friends, etc.
5. I drink more coffee. It’s true. There is a comfort found in hot liquids that simply brings a smile to my face.
These are just some of the things I do to actively participate in restoring joy to my life. There are a billion other ways, and your personality will determine what works for you. I know you may be shocked that I didn’t list the things I need to be grateful about as my first thing, or that my answers weren’t exceptionally “spiritual”. Gratefulness is awesome, and it DOES bring joy. But sometimes we need non-spiritual solutions. And isn’t it nice to know that it’s okay to be human?
Feel free to comment below with ways you stir up joy.