Do you think joy has a language?
I’m beginning to think so. The way we talk to and about ourselves and others, both audibly and silently, can determine our joy quotient.
Hear me out on this! I’m not suggesting we fill our vocabulary with flowery phrases or constantly gush over people but perhaps the words we use and thoughts we choose impact our lives more than we think they do.
Let me ask you a couple of questions:
1. Do you look for the good in others or are you quick to criticize?
(now apply this question to how you treat yourself)
2. When someone (including you) makes a mistake or doesn’t get something right the first (or second or third) time do you encourage them or give up on them?
3. Do you look for the proverbial silver lining when times are tough or do you only imagine the storm on the horizon?
It is difficult (perhaps impossible) to be joyful when we are constantly being critical of ourselves or others.
Think for a moment about someone whom you consider to be joyful. What kinds of words do you hear them using? What kind of outlook do they have on life?
Joy-filled people use more positive words than negative. They encourage others and choose to see the positive in the midst of the negative.
It seems trite and almost too easy. Unfortunately the reality is that for most of us it isn’t easy at all.
Just as changing habits to make our physical bodies healthier requires adjustments to our diet and activity levels, changing our minds to eliminate negative thoughts requires adjustments to our thinking and approach to each day – even each hour.
You’ve likely heard the phrase “garbage in, garbage out”. If your mind is filled with garbage thoughts – negative and demeaning thoughts – you allow those thoughts to steal your joy.
While some people may have more of a bend towards having a positive outlook it can become a learned behavior. And just as with any habit, making small consistent changes eventually brings a new way of life.
Give it a try today. When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts make a choice to find something positive in the midst of it. Don’t allow yourself to feed the negative thoughts, but put them into perspective. If you really can’t find something positive about the situation, turn your mind to thinking about something else.
See if you begin to find more joy in life, even when life is hard and not so joyful.
Blessings and peace as you find joy in today…and each day to come.