Life is unpredictable. Life has challenges. Life can sometimes steal our joy; let’s just be honest about that. We cannot control everything that comes our way, even if we wish we could! This is why we should be compelled to maintain some key elements in our lives that will help us keep our balance and joy even when faced with uncertainties.
Here are 4 keys that I believe to be essential to maintain a joy-filled life:
1. LAUGHTER: There’s just nothing like laughter to release the tension that builds up in our daily lives. A good belly laugh can turn our day completely around! Kathryn Hepburn was quoted as saying “I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” I have to agree! Laughter takes our minds off our “to do” list, our sadness, or our anxieties and allows us to catch our breath! Ignoring the need for laughter will cause us all to become very serious and introspective. So plan to lighten up a couple of times a day~~LAUGH!
2. FORGIVENESS: Martin Luther King said; Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” This means forgiveness is a choice. I “choose” to be unoffendable yet when I am offended I will seek to walk in forgiveness as a gift to myself! Walking in unforgiveness can change us. Walking in unforgiveness is draining. Walking in unforgiveness steals our joy. In an article written by Charles Stanly he said that “It’s probably not surprising to hear that resentment impacts the mind and spirit, but you may not have realized what a physical toll it can also take on us. An attitude of bitterness ratchets up tension and anxiety, which can affect everything from muscles to chemical balance in the brain. Over time, that kind of mayhem weakens the body.”
Therefore If we seek reconciliation when we can and choose forgiveness always, we will stand a greater chance of experiencing a consistent joy-filled life.
3. Quality Relationships: Quality relationships are those that bring energy to you as a person. I’m talking about the deep, unreserved relationships you have within the circle of family and friends that you have. Who are the people who know you and have weathered storms and joys alongside you? Who are the people who love you unconditionally and call just to see how you’re doing? Who are those who would never indict you but would have your back in any situation? Isolation is a joy stealer, we all need a handful of people who will lift our spirits when we are down, laugh with us when we need to unwind, and celebrate with us when we are experiencing even a small victory! These are the relationships that deserve to be placed on your calendar and nurtured! Friendship is the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words.
4. Times of Solitude: Unplug. Turn of your phone. Back away from the computer. Breathe. Take some time to be silent. To read or reflect. Take time to pray or journal. Don’t see this as a waste of time, but as an integral part of your day. We all need periods of solitude, although temperamentally we probably differ in the amount of solitude we need. However, some solitude is essential; It gives us time to explore who we are and how we feel. Solitude gives us a chance to regain perspective. It renews us for the challenges of life. It allows us to get (back) into the position of driving our own lives, rather than having them run by schedules and demands from without. Times of solitude are also a time to connect with God, giving you time to listen to what He may be saying to you. Making times of solitude a priority in your life will help you to find joy; even in the midst of a busy, or challenging season of life.
Begin to practice these 4 Keys on a regular basis and you will begin to see how valuable they are right away! I want you to live a life that is Joy-filled. THAT is my hope for you! 🙂