The Joy Tree
How to find joy when you are anxious.
We think that joy just happens to us. If we are lucky, we find joy. If we are unlucky, we don't. Or perhaps you are a believer in karma: if you do joyful things, joy will find you.
Karma is wrong though. If you do joyful things, you won't instantly find joy. You'll be reminded of joy and that memory can give you hope. But you can't push a magic button and find joy. I so desperately wish we could. But life doesn't work that way. We are too connected.
That being said, here are a few things that can help you find joy.
- Do what works. Do the things that have brought you joy in the past. Studies have shown that even just thinking about these can help bring you out of anxiety or depression but that doing them multiplies the effect.
- Do for others. There is a science to altruism. Doing good for others will bring the recipient joy and you! So go do some #HolyMischief
- Set reminders now. Keep a gratitude journal so that when you need to be reminded of joy, you can look to your past. The picture above is from an office near me that put up a joy tree at Christmas/New Year. They had clients put their "joys" on a piece of paper on the tree. If they left their name on the paper, the office will mail it back to them in six months as a reminder of what brings them joy. The effect is exponential.
So seek joy. Experience it. And when you don't keep looking.
Be known for joy!
You get to choose what you are known for. Manage it wisely.
Until Everyone Hears,
P.S. - Deep breathing and breath prayer helps to prime you when you are anxious. It is a great practice that centers you and connects you to God.
James 1:23 - New International Version
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
What are your thoughts?