Finding the Joy

A few days ago I heard a woman say “find the joy in every moment”. She basically said that all people have their ups and downs, and bad things happen to all people – no matter where they are from, how wealthy they are, or what their beliefs are – but if we can find the joy in every moment, we can get through the bad times. The words are simple, but they spoke to me and affected me.

Since hearing that statement, I’ve noticed that Daniel is a pessimist. I guess I always knew this, but now it really stands out. I feel he deliberately looks for the negatives in everything he does, which in turn spoils the things he is doing – no matter what it is. He’ll go out expecting to have a boring time, so what does he have? A boring time! He’s not surprised, because he wasn’t looking for anything more. Even if the outing is better than expected, he’ll focus on the bad food, or the terrible traffic or something else that other people might disregard. He is throwing away his chance of having a wonderful time by doing this.

When I look around I see that Daniel is not alone in this outlook on life. I ask myself why he – and so many others – does this. And I ask why I have done it in the past. The answer is depression.

A depressed person feels their life is going nowhere and they can’t see that they, in fact, have control over how some things may affect them (unfortunately, this is not always the case as some depression is caused by things that we cannot change or control). For example, someone who is depressed because they feel rejected by others is affected by those other people because they allow themselves to be affected. If that person didn’t care what other people thought or about the rejection, they wouldn’t feel depressed. I know it’s easier said than done, but in some matters we do have control and we can (if we are strong enough) push the offending emotions away.

Instead of looking for the negatives, make it a conscious habit to look for the positives. Force yourself to do it on a daily basis. Ask yourself what was good about the day. Don’t think about the bad weather, the person who annoyed you, the crappy menu, the dirty toilets, etc only think about the good things. And on most days something good is there to be found.

If you do this long enough (and I believe it takes 21 days to form a new habit) then you will eventually see the good things without trying. It’s time to leave the bad behind and search for the good. It’s time to find the joy in every moment.

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One thought on “Finding the Joy

  1. I read a “light” book a while ago, and the heroine was painted as a naive sort of person. While everybody was going about their cut-throat, realistic lives, if she found herself in a situation she didn’t like, she would immediately try to find Three Positive Things about it. The book was a comedy and the heroine’s technique was shown as a bit of a joke, but her idea is one that has stayed with me. Sometimes I have tried to think of Three Positives about a negative situation (I don’t mean seriously negative, I mean irritating daily life experiences). If I do this, immediately I cheer up. The problem is, actually remembering to do this technique! I agree with what you said about habits – why do we automatically fall back into the habit of pessimism about unimportant matters, and why is being positive often such an effort?! It’s good to have a reminder to keep on trying.

    By the way, I think when people “expect the worst” it can be a defence mechanism. If you predict things are going to turn out badly, it’s as if you’ve beaten fate and are one step ahead and the hurt will hurt you less. I often fall into this trap.

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