There is much pain and hurt in the world. Injustice, prejudice and violence are familiar news headlines each day, making it challenging to maintain a consistent state of positivity. Through all of these challenges, one feeling prevails all, joy.
Joy is defined as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. However, joy and happiness are not synonyms. Happiness is an emotion in which we experience feelings ranging from contentment and satisfaction to bliss and intense pleasure for a short period. Whereas, joy is a stronger, less common feeling than happiness which lasts for an extended time and is embedded within our personal emotion.
If I could spread one emotion around the world, it would be joy. A prolonged feeling of happiness which energises and enthuses individuals to act. We see joy in disadvantaged communities such as Kenya, where the interaction with other people brings an unwavering sense of pleasure to the citizens. Joy is also found through relationships which build each other up, enabling one another to grow and succeed. Joy can even be achieved in the smallest acts of kindness, transforming an individual’s emotions due to unexpected action.
Not only does joy allow individuals to grow, but it also has health benefits. Joy can promote a range of lifestyle habits that are important for overall health, such as consuming nutritional foods. Moreover, a recent study has found that being happier may help keep your immune system strong and reduce the risk of developing colds and chest infections. Furthermore, in the increasingly time-pressed and stressful period of humanity, joy has been found to reduce stress levels.
Joy is essential as it is foundational to a positive life. If joy isn’t consciously cultivated, we risk living a life dominated by the other, less enlivening emotions such as fear, anger and sadness. So how can we go about reclaiming the wonder of joy?
I think it is essential to take note and appreciate the small things in your life. Whether it be the gifts you’ve been given, the opportunities you’ve been blessed with or the people you have been able to develop strong relationships with, acknowledging these things can assist in cultivating joy.
Another way to grow joy is through helping others. This can be as simple as smiling at a stranger on the street or sending a ‘thank you’ message to someone who has supported you. Helping others is never about how much you help, but how you go about helping them. If you help others through love, that experience will provide a powerful pathway to joy not only for yourself but also to the people you help.
‘Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognise how good things really are.’
Let’s continue to spread joy, as that is how we can continue to remain positive in a world that continually seeks to bring us down. That is why I love joy.
Article 7 of the ‘Why I Love…’ Series – https://thelevinelowdown.com/why-i-love/
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