“Joy.” It’s a short and a simple word that has lost much of its meaning and significance through overuse. We hear it all the time, especially around Christmas time. But here’s the thing – we need to pay attention to it.
I have been working with populations of many different ethnic groups and ages lately and I find one recurring theme with people who are depressed or anxious – they forget about joy.
I do my best to remember to ask this question – what brings you joy? Creative expression? Art? Just chatting with a friend? As banal as the question can be, it is important for us to remember to go out of our way to make sure they are included in our daily life, especially as adults. Kids are great at this – especially infants. What brings me joy, you ask? Why, putting my fist in my mouth, of course! Duh. (Couldn’t find a pic of that exact image, but you get the idea).
It is very easy to get bogged down in the inanities, the trivial and the just plain boring stuff that we have to do to get through life. Who wants to go to the DMV? Yet it has to be done, so when we are done with our day or are between these “have-tos”, it’s important to remember to hike with the dog, see a movie, watch the sunset, do a crossword, call your Mom. OK, maybe last one might sound like an obligation to some, but my point is to find joy in life. It IS out there. As a matter of fact it might be right in your back yard.
So remember to ask yourself this question – What brings me joy? And then, do it!