“Choose Joy”, said the poster in the coffee shop. I stared at it for a while in silence. It didn’t make a lot of sense. Did people really think it’s that simple? Choose joy, like you flip a button, and everything would be fine. Yeah right. Frickin pop psychologists. I was inwardly fuming by then. Come to think of it, I used to have a lot of inward anger and misery back then. Dealing with chronic pain, illness, professional disappointment and a broken relationship was messing me up inside.
Then one day (or maybe it was a gradual thing, I’m no longer sure), I realised that I was fed up of being miserable. I also figured out that the only person who could help me with this problem was me. I could let my circumstances turn me into a bitter, angry shell of what I used to be; or I could choose to make the best of whatever I had. I decided it was time to stop being miserable. In other words, I chose joy. I just didn’t realise then that this is what I was doing.
So how does one choose joy? I can only speak for myself here. You choose joy by not letting your present circumstances define you, and not allowing a bad situation to turn you into a negative person. You do it by deciding to change how you will react the next time you find yourself facing a difficult situation. By bringing daily meditation and self-affirmation into your morning routine. You channel your energy into exercise and try things that relax you more. This is how I picked up Yoga and started blogging again.
Choose joy proactively in your day by ensuring that your needs are met – get enough sleep, eat well, and give yourself some time out as and when you require it. Remind yourself that you are not responsible for what happens during the day, but you are a hundred percent responsible for how you react to it. Schedule time for things that bring you pleasure, be it music or books or time with friends. If you slip up, forgive yourself and try harder next time.
Did I succeed? I am still working on it – there are good days and bad days. The need to start a positivity blog arose from the desire to change for the better. My circumstances may or may not get better, but my way of dealing with them is certainly improving. I’ve realised that there are no guarantees in life, and you just have to play the hand you are dealt as well as you can. You can, after all, choose joy.
Some of my previous posts: