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 Finding Joy (Again)

By Ms. Janice Nass, LCSW

How can you find joy again when the world has crashed down around you? Maybe you just lost your job, your house, or your life partner and you don’t feel like you will be able to carry on. What is important is to sit with the pain, acknowledge your feelings, and trust time to lift you out and beyond to see that opportunities for change are possible. Some simple techniques can also be used to help manage your stress and focus on what can be your future – a future once again filled with joy.

1) Take time out of your day for silence. Whether it is 5 minutes or an hour, turn off your cell phone and computer and don’t speak. Listen to your thoughts, focus on your breathing, slow down. Focus on creating a special place for yourself that is quiet and serene where you can go to recharge your spirit. It may take a while for this practice to start feeling comfortable, but stick with it. From this place of simplicity, you will find energy inside of you that you never thought you had. Don’t forget to let family and friends know about your silent period so they can honor this time as well.
2) Do something. Whether it is listening to music, journaling, reading, or getting acquainted with nature, these activities can provide a much needed respite from the feelings of sadness and helplessness. They also can provide a much needed diversion from what is keeping us down and transport us to the place of joy that is in reach for all of us.
3) Rekindle your inner child. Invite humor and play back into your life and reconnect with an age of innocence and trust. Give yourself opportunities to laugh. Doing so does not erase the person who you just lost, but it does provide a way to move away the pain to allow for joy to enter.
4) Reach out to others in need. Whether it is something as simple as smiling at the person in line in front of you at the store to volunteering at your local animal shelter, you will find that turning your focus on others can help ourselves get out of pain and grief and move closer to joy. You may also want to try sending positive thoughts out to others. Spreading harmony as you shift your focus to others can support the healing process for yourself.

Don’t expect these ideas to transform your life overnight. It takes time. Grief and pain are a roller-coaster of emotions. If you begin to incorporate these small steps over time however, you will notice an inner transformation, a transformation towards joy

 

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