Choosing Joy in a Depressed World
Joy; something free, yet so few get a hold of it. We live in a world where depression is rapant, and the new norm. Joy is rare, and almost frowned upon (C'mon, I've seen you roll your eyes at that extra chirpy co worker in the mornings!).
As rare as I see joy today, it's a choice.
In every moment of our lives we get to choose what our reactions are. Will we pick up joy, or hold on to our anger and depression?
Well, what does joy even look like?
Joy is more than just this happy feeling you get after eating a five layer burrito from taco bell (totally joking, joy is quite the opposite LOL). Cheesy beefy jokes aside, joy is a piece of our characer we can develop and grow - like a muscle!
The more you intentionally choose joy today, the easier it gets to choose joy when rough waters come up.
Joy is not letting your circumstances control how you react, it's choosing to smile in the chaos, it's knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
It's not easy. Your girl here is working really hard at choosing joy when she drives instead of saying "move, grandma!" I'm choosing to look at the overwhelming pile of work on my desk as growing pains. It’s not easy, I know, but it can be done.
Here are a few things to help you on your journey to joy.
1. Be grateful
You’ve heard me talk about gratitude, A LOT! But its because it’s so important! You won’t find joy complaining. Express your gratitude each morning by journaling your gratitude before the chaos of life creeps in.
2. Change your perspective
When a problem arises, what do you do? Do you think it’s the end of the world, or do you look at the bigger picture? Sometimes just taking a step back from a difficult situation will help you to see the lesson that needs to be learned. Let the trial grow you, not overcome you.
3. Prioritize what’s important
We live in a busy world with endless opportunities. But we can’t and shouldn’t feel like we need to say “Yes” to everything. The things you enjoy will become a drag because you are placing your energy in all these different areas. Not every good opportunity is the right opportunity. Figure out what is important for you in the season you’re in, and learn to say no.
4. Find the right association
Are the people around you always complaining? Are they always hopeless? As much as we often hate to admit, we are a product of our environments. So if your best friend is gossiping, it’s likely you are too. If your best friend is excited about the future, it’s likely you will be too. Seek people who will lift you up, not bring you down!
5. Praise God
Praise. There’s just something about it. It’s more than just flipping KLOVE on. It’s an attitude, it’s a way of life.
Read this story of the apostle Paul and see how praise was ingrained in his life
“Picture this: It’s midnight. In the darkness of their cell, Paul and Silas—after surviving the severe beating—aren’t moaning and groaning; they’re praying and singing hymns to God. The prisoners in adjoining cells are wide awake, listening to them pray and sing. Suddenly the ground begins to shake, and the prison foundations begin to crack. You can hear the sound of jangling chains and the squeak of cell doors opening. Every prisoner realizes that his chains have come unfastened.” Acts 16:25-26
When you lay your problems down at the feet of Christ, raise your hands and life your voice to Him - things happen. Chains break. Freedom comes. Joy is available.
Whatever you are going through today, I encourage you to choose joy by following these simple steps. Subscribe to our newsletter so we can stay connected.