Noun: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. Verb: rejoice.
Joy is caused by elation at a moment in time. Joy may not always be about oneself but be about others’ contentment also.
We feel joy in our bodies because of the release of dopamine and serotonin, two types of neurotransmitters in the brain. Both of these chemicals are heavily associated with happiness (in fact, people with clinical depression often have lower levels of serotonin).
For many years I have engaged with the #oneword initiative where you select a word to be your guiding star for the year ahead. I spend time reflecting on my goals and aspirations for the year ahead. My #oneword2019 was Joy. As opportunities and invitations arrived in my inbox or through my letterbox, I would ask myself: Will this bring me Joy? If the answer was no I would politely decline.
2019 was my fortieth year and I committed to filling it with Joyful things and I consciously aired it of Joyless ones. By the end of the year I felt happier, lighter and more fulfilled.
I was in a new home, a new role and a new head space.
Thinking about Joy under lock down is making me consider the simpler things in life and appreciate things that perhaps I took for granted. I am definitely feeling more grateful each day for what I am lucky to have.
What Joy Was:
- Hugs with family.
- Laughing with friends – in person.
- Eating out.
- Hot baths.
- Reading lots.
- Going to the theatre.
- Walks on the beach.
- Travelling abroad.
- Going to events.
- Meeting new people.
What Joy Is:
- Calls with family.
- Laughing with friends – on zoom.
- Cooking lots.
- Hot baths.
- Writing lots.
- Watching movies.
- Walks in the woods.
- Being at home.
- Connecting through coaching circles.
- Connecting with new people.
What Joy Will Be:
- Hugs and calls with family.
- Laughing with friends – in person and on zoom.
- Eating out and eating in.
- Hot baths.
- Reading and writing lots.
- Going to the theatre and watching movies.
- Walks on the beach and in the wood.
- Travelling abroad and staying at home.
- Going to events and connecting through coaching circles.
- Meeting people I have connected with in person.
So despite the weird world we currently find ourselves in, the weird turn our lives have taken, there is still much Joy to experience and appreciate.
A few years ago my Mum bought my sister and I a memory jar each for Christmas – the idea is you write down all of the things that bring you Joy to remind yourself at the end of the year what a full and happy life you lead.
A twist on this is to keep yourself uplifted during the coming days, weeks and months – write down things that bring you Joy, when you hit a low point you pull out an idea to make you smile and remember that everything will be okay. In fact it will be better than okay.