Life is hard, especially with a chronic illness or other difficulties. Here are my strategies to help you find joy anyway.

Life’s Hard, Find Joy Anyway

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“Without pain, how could we know joy?’ This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.” 

John Green

Most of us believe that happiness is an event. However, I think that happiness is more of a state mind. Happiness is not based on how much you have. It’s not based on how much you achieve, or how many friends you have (although they all help). It may be based on how many dogs you have…if you’re a crazy dog mom like me!

Life is hard, whether you’re facing a chronic illness or any number of difficulties in life. While it’s impossible to be happy all the time, you can create little pieces of joy throughout your day and throughout your life.

Life is hard, especially with a chronic illness or other difficulties. Here are my strategies to help you find joy anyway.

Finding Joy

In order to be happy and find joy, there is not one thing you need to do or one thing you need to have either. And of course, if you’re struggling with mental health, as I do, I always recommend seeing a professional therapist or doctor. While I used to say that ‘life is hard, choose joy anyway’, I’ve decided that it’s not always about choosing joy, and more often it’s a matter of finding joy. Sometimes it’s easier to choose, but in my life, it’s often an all-out battle to find some damn joy. Happiness and joy aren’t just chilling out in the universe waiting there for you to pick them. More often, you have to actually work to find them. And if you have a chronic illness or pain? Then I can speak from experience, joy is a feeling you have to work really freakin’ hard to find.

Start off by writing a list of things that bring you joy, and anything you’re feeling grateful for. Think about what makes you smile, what happy looks like, how happy shows up in your life. Then, focus on those events and times when you felt joyful.

Recall those memories, feel them, remember how you felt and feel it again in th moment.

Recall & Create Joyful Memories

Recalling fond memories when you are struggling to find joy is a great way to pull yourself out of a dark place. This is why I keep a folder of happy memories, quotes, nice notes from friends and clients etc. on my phone for easy access on the go. I also keep a gratitude journal, and I keep my favorite mantras front and center too.

Smiling and laughing, according to some research, is good for your health. Apparently, endorphins are released when you smile and laugh. So that cheezy movie that always makes you laugh?! Go ahead and play it again (for me, it’s usually Elf). It will do your body and your mind a world of good.

If you focus on the positive, it will grow. Focus on making a choice every day to find something that will make you smile, you will get closer to your goals in life or business. Try to find something every day for which to be grateful, chances are that you will have that much more for which to be grateful.

Look for the slightest of things in the mundane and every day such as a message from a great friend, running water, a delicious cup of coffee, your dog jumping all over you. Anything that can make you smile, is worth thinking about, because in the end it will help you to find joy. And, a little joy goes a long way.

Remember you are worthy! I love these slightly sassy goods from Your Joyologist.

What brings you joy?

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