What is joy and how do we find it? Finding joy is not a deep mystery. We have the ability to see joy in life every day. Mahatma Gandhi said, “a man is but the products of his thought, what he thinks he becomes”. We have the ability to create joy in life. The life we want to create is based on what we see as meaningful and valuable. Experiencing joy influences our beliefs, values, and decisions we make.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines joy as feelings of pleasure or happiness resulting from positive experiences, achieving goals, doing well on exam, buying a house, or being able to do things we did not think we could. Experiencing joy enhances the quality of relationships we have with ourselves and others.
We can create joy by choosing to do things that bring us joy or make us happy. Take a moment to think about the things you do that make you feel happy. These can be anything like your first cup of coffee in the morning, hugging a special person, enjoying a good meal, reading a book, dancing in your kitchen, going for a walk, volunteering, exercising, journaling, time with friends, time alone, meditation, prayer. The list is endless and deeply personal. How many of these are part of your daily or weekly routine? Is there something you realize you have missed doing for a long time? Is there something you want to try but have not been able to do? Joy becomes easier to see and more familiar the more we experience it. We can have more joy in our lives by doing the simple things that bring happiness.
Joy is part the process of living and experience life. Mahatma Gandhi also said, “joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself.” Joy is something we can practice daily in our lives for it to become more familiar and easier to see. This brings a shift in how we think about ourselves and the relationships we have. We have the ability to create the life we want by choosing what we do. If you choose not to find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life, but still the same amount of snow.
Take a moment to find your joy.
Blog Post by Clinical Social Worker, Bren Schock