Why We Need To Reclaim Joy

Why We Need To Reclaim Joy

Embracing a holistic approach to wellness means learning to see the strengths you already possess. All of us have challenges we continue to face and yes, many of us have experienced trauma. But if we remain stuck ruminating on the ways we’ve suffered and/or have previously let ourselves down, it becomes nearly impossible to make sustainable changes. We’re emotionally triggered over and over again when grief, fear, abandonment, betrayal and abuse are allowed to dominate the narrative of our lives. True healing will gradually begin to shift thought patterns—a necessary precursor to adopting new behaviors that prioritize self-care. 

Start by paying attention to how you feel physically and mentally every day. Are there particular moments when the words overwhelmed, anxious, sad or angry would best describe your temperament? What would it take for you to feel better? If your initial thoughts are linked to food, think about why. Eating won’t change the underlying source of any negative emotion. It’s a temporary balm; not a well of happiness.

But joy is rarely as far removed as we may think. Five minutes of uninterrupted, quality time with the dog is often my gratitude reminder for the life I get to live now. One in which I am safe, supported and surrounded by love. It took a long time to get here, so I protect it fiercely by listening to what my body and mind really needs. Yoga, journaling, prayer and running are all examples of daily doses of kindness to myself that keep me rooted in the present rather than trapped in the prisons of the past.  

I also permit myself to take breaks from the news, social media and even pessimistic friends during those times I’m struggling to see the good. This happens far less frequently than it used to, thanks to diligently tending to my mental health just as much as achieving any external fitness benchmark.

What’s one way you could make this week more joy-filled for you and/or another fellow TOPS member? Look forward to reading any ideas you’d like to share as comments below. 

Hope you woke up with a smile this Wellness Wednesday! 


15 thoughts on “Why We Need To Reclaim Joy

  1. Thanks for this motiovational info. Thats what I needed to hear. It”s hard to be positive in a negitive world. Thanks again and keep up the good work.

  2. I appreciate your uplifting thoughts, Rachel! I’m definitely guilty of turning to food when I feel overwhelmed. I should try taking a 10-minute break and reading one of the books in my want-to-read pile, instead of letting anxiety wash over me.

    1. I’m a voracious reader as well, Robin. So I think your suggestion of diving into a book you’ve been wanting to read is a GREAT suggestion.

    2. Sometimes taking a few moments for ourself by reading a few minutes or giving a few moments of attetion to a pet is enough to get the mind away from that hungry feeling.

  3. I needed this little pep talk or positive reminder. Thanks, looking for a new day with positive thoughts.

  4. I love how you expressed being trapped in prisons of the past. Wow. That’s a great way to describe how painful events of the past can destroy your joy in the present. I recently discovered that I can stop an anxious feeling creeping back in by sitting for just a few minutes and very warmly holding my own hands. I think of something or nothing depending, but I always can literally feel a calmness come over me. So that’s how I keep my joy when I feel it slipping.

    1. Sounds like you’ve found a mindfulness technique that works really well for you, Karen. Appreciate you taking the time to describe it here, as it may be helpful to another member of our community.

  5. I like to do a mindfulness walk. I walk outside and spend a few minutes focusing on a sense .such as all the things i hear. then switch to another sense and do all 5.

  6. Lisa,
    What I really like about the mindfulness technique you described is how accessible it is = can be done just about anywhere, at anytime. THANKS for posting.

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