How to Find Joy in Difficult Times
As sure as the sun rises and sets each day, you will have periods in your life when things are just not going your way. In reality, life is basically a constant fluctuation of emotional highs and lows, ebbs and flows.
While most of our time is spent in the fairly even, mundane state of emotional normalcy, this is broken up by the peaks of the best of times and unfortunately, the valleys when nothing is going right.
While hardly anyone ever seeks information on how to deal with the best moments of their lives, handling the lows can be a difficult task. Today we live in very troubled times, a pandemic has taken over most of the world, and people are being affected in many profound and very real ways.
Everything that surrounds getting through this pandemic is based on suffering and pain, it’s just the nature of the beast. Death, isolation, fear, facing the unknown and grief and loss can strip of us our joy and may lead to depression.
While you cannot control what happens outside your door, you CAN control yourself. There are things you can do to maintain a positive and even joyful mindset.
I’m generally a very positive person and it takes a lot to get under my feathers. This pandemic… is a lot. Here are my three tips for coping during a tough time.
Three Tips to Find Joy in Difficult Times
Surround Yourself With The Right People
It is often said that we are the sum total of the five people we surround ourselves with most often. If that is the case, making sure you get the right people around you, especially when going through a difficult period, is critical to holding on to your joy. Often times when life is really beating us up, we retreat into the solitude of our home, wanting to throw the covers of our heads and be left alone with our thoughts.
Make no mistake; sometimes periods of solitude are healthy and necessary. Right now, isolation is the norm as we fight a health crisis. However, when you find yourself in a really low spot, robbed of your joy, connecting with those who make you happy is a necessity.
Although it may seem obvious in concept, avoiding people who have the opposite effect can sometimes be the real battle. Negative Nancys are especially important to keep out of your life when you are already struggling to find joy in your current situation.
Try as best as possible to stay connected with loved ones during Shelter In Place orders when isolating at home. Technology has thankfully made this super easy to do.
• Face Time on iPhones and Video calls on Android
• An actual old-fashioned phone call
• Zoom and other video conferencing software can bring together friends and family for things like birthday celebrations and girl’s night in while staying safe and following health official’s orders.
• Good old-fashioned letter writing. Send someone a note with pretty stickers, glitter ink and sprayed with your favorite. Remember them days?
Remember That Nothing Is Permanent
“THIS TOO SHALL PASS”
Nothing in life is permanent. Fortunately, nothing in life is permanent! Let’s state that again, this too will pass.
During periods of extreme happiness and joy, thinking about the temporary nature of each season in life is not something we like to dwell on.
On the contrary, keeping this truth in mind during the low times can be very beneficial. Whatever you are going through, no matter how bad it may be, it WILL pass. Think of your last heartbreak and how you felt you would never get over it. Now, look at you, thriving.
In fact, most of the difficult times you experience in life will end without any extra effort on your part. It is so easy to get into the mentality that we have to put forth an immense amount of effort to make something bad go away.
Even though this is sometimes the case, most of the time, TIME is the only remedy for tough situations. If you want to maximize your joy during difficult times, remember that your situation is not the way things are, only the way they are RIGHT NOW.
Base Your Happiness On Yourself
We’ve discussed how life is divided into highs and lows and the fact that nothing will last forever. So here’s something to keep in mind during the best AND the worst periods.
If you want to have joy on a consistent basis, your joy absolutely cannot be dictated by your circumstances.
If you let every good thing that happens to you leave you soaring on cloud nine and every negative situation send you crashing to earth, you will go through life in a state of emotional exhaustion! Stable, consistent, sustainable joy can only be created and found within yourself. For me, joy starts with gratitude.
Life is far less about what happens to you than it is how you react to it. You are in charge of how you feel. Don’t fall into the routine of letting happiness get to your head and failure to your heart. Allow gratitude to keep you grounded because even in low times, there’s always something to be grateful for.