Joy, Hope and Peace. We hear these three words a lot this time of year. They are written everywhere; Streetlights, commercials, ornaments, windows of shopping malls…. It would be understandable if you have become desensitized to the meaning that each brings to the world. What do they really mean and how do they affect our daily lives? If you do a little research you will find that these three words have power that can be wielded to improve your total wellness and that of those around you!
Joy inspires gratitude and vice versa. Both are reliant on each other and inspire a person to look at their life through a clearer lens. We get so bogged down by the expectations of ourselves and others. The fear, guilt, and regret we feel when we have not met those expectations can leave us viewing the world very negatively. Practicing gratitude can bring joy into your life. It is important to take a moment to bring clarity and awareness of the accomplishments you’ve achieved and the goodness that surrounds you. Meditating on something positive such as what you are grateful for, for twenty minutes a day has been proven to restructure your brain. Check out some of the amazing research about the benefits of mindfulness meditation here: (https://davidji.com/scienceofmeditation/)
Something so simple as taking some deep breaths and recounting all the things that you are grateful for can greatly impact the quality of your life. The effects are contagious so notice those around you becoming more joyful in your presence. If you change your mentality, you will change your life.
Hope is the bedrock of our dreams and aspirations. Hope inspires life changes for the good. Socially acceptable and inspired goals have become difficult to navigate these days. We constantly see advertisements and social media telling us what we should desire and become. It is easy to lose yourself in a world that sets unrealistic expectations for how you should live. The things prescribed to make you “happier” are seldom achievable by most people. For those who do achieve these goals or statuses, they often are left feeling empty, unfulfilled and looking for the next fleeting gratification. To remedy this cycle of hopelessness, set your goals for fulfilling and achievable things. Some might include a healthy lifestyle, a healthy and connected family, and ways you can give goodness to others. Creating a sense of meaning in your life can inspire genuine happiness and hope. Find your sense of purpose. By getting involved in serving your community, you can inspire others to have hope in their lives as well. If you want to learn more you can read this awesome article I found here: (https://www.drtoddhall.com/post/beyond-happy-5-factors-for-a-fulfilling-life-backed-by-science)
Joy and Hope bring Peace. We have a lot of negativity floating around. If listening to the news puts you in a bad mood then cut certain news outlets out of your daily routine. Negativity is contagious. It is like a bad virus that infiltrates even the healthiest people. The good news is that if negativity is contagious so is its counterpart. A simple genuine smile and a, “How are you?” Or “Have a nice day”, can completely change the atmosphere around you. Even if you must, “fake it ‘til you make it”. People will catch the spring in your step and your positivity will change your environment creating a safer and more joy filled day. Yes safer! Negativity is dangerous to your physical, mental, and social health. Therefore, I encourage you to be an advocate of peace in the world. Share some joy and hope with others. You will be surprised at how empowering it will feel to positively affect your own health and the health of others around you.
When you see those three words during your daily commute or on a holiday greeting card, I hope you will marvel at the importance of them. Remember to carry these sentiments in your mind throughout the year and be open to their positive impact on humanity. I wish for you and yours all the Joy, Hope and Peace you can possibly receive this holiday season, and all of the New Year!
Kingwood Psychotherapy &