Joy

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Joy happens whenever we are even remotely happy. The difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is the emotional elevation of delight over time, while joy is happiness you feel in the moment.

A little more on the word Joy:

WIKI

  • A feeling of extreme happiness or cheerfulness, especially related to the acquisition or expectation of something good.
  • Anything that causes such a feeling.
  • Luck or success; a positive outcome.
  • The sign or exhibition of joy; gaiety; merriment; festivity.

Dictionary. com

  • The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation
  • A source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated:
  • The expression or display of glad feeling; festive gaiety.
  • A state of happiness or felicity.

So, Now that we have the meaning of joy out of the way, let’s take  a look at some more aspects of the word and how you can find more of it!

Kinds of Joy:

So what kinds of joy is there? Well, I listed some I could think of here, enjoy!

Kinds of Joy

Image by xxolgaxx from Pixabay

Small~  Those joyful moments that are happening in the current moment.

Reminiscent ~ The delightful moments we remember with fondness and/or wish to pass down to our children and grandchildren. Examples: Rainbows, Fireworks, Ice cream with crunch/sprinkles.

Inner ~ Moments that come from within, those times when you make yourself happy, finding inspiration inside yourself.

Connective ~ The happy moments gained when in the presents or by interacting with others.

Outer ~ Moments of delight while out in the word, hiking in nature, deep in the city, experiencing what/where you love.

Large ~ Larger events/experiences that bring you pure delight.

Benefits of Joy:

There are always benefits to the emotions we feel and joy is no exception. So what are the benefits of joy? Let’s take a look:

Experience Joy
Image by Igor Link from Pixabay

Well, experiencing joy just plain feels good, which leads to other reactions such as laughing more often, experiencing even more joy, and really joy is just how we are most often. At least, I hope you are.

Having joy in your life, like so many other emotions creates a healthier you, you know all those endorphins and whatnot that are released? (I don’t get technical, so bare with me) Your body becomes healthier because you are in a good mood.

And speaking of being in a good mood, experiencing delight and happiness,  like smiling can attract you to more people which could benefit you if you were trying for a specific position or job. You never know what a little joy could show your potential employer or yourself for that matter.

There is nothing more important than the connections we make with others and your joy could inspire that, not to mention motivate others as well as yourself,  and form better connections with those around you. With just a little joy, others around you will see you as someone they can communicate with, someone they can trust, someone they look at and want to know what you’re taking to be so uplifting.

 

Finding Joy:

Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of joy, let’s move onto how you can find joy. In my opinion, you can find joy in any place and in any situation. (Well, maybe not every situation or place, but pretty close.)

Journeying
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Health

Even your health can bring you joy, let me tell you how:

  • Self- Care ~ As with any area of your life, self care is important. Keeping yourself healthy and moving is going to bring you more joy than you could possibly realize. When you’re not feeling tired, breathless, or worn, you’ll realize that taking care of yourself will bring you more joy than that bowl of ice cream. Trust me, I know! Chocolate is my weakness.
  • State of Mind ~ Keeping your mind in the right state is also important and can bring you joy. When you’re not concerned about every little thing, your mind is free to let all the joy of the world enter and fill you up.
  • Focus on You ~ Take some time for yourself. Do something for yourself, whether it’s taking a walk, a nap, a long soak. Free your mind and relax your body, release the tensions of the day. Have some fun. You choose!

Emotional

Well, joy is an emotion, so use it!

  • No Waiting, No Worrying ~ Don’t wait for joy to fall in your lap, it’s not going to.  Go out and get it! Look for it wherever you are. Seek it in the things you see, the things you read, the events you participate in, even the smells. It’s up to you to see joy in things that may not seem like there’s much around. Trust me there is!
  • What Makes You Happy ~ People are always telling you to ‘Do what makes you happy’, well, I’m going to tell you the same. What are you waiting for? It’s never going to be the right time, get going and be happy! Draw, learn a new skill, rock climb, whatever it is, do it!
  • Appreciate the Small Things ~ Look around you, no, really look! See all those small things, yep, you know which ones I’m talking about. ALL OF THEM, even that half used eraser still has some use out of it. Appreciating even the tiniest things can cause joy. You could not have that eraser when you’re searching everywhere for one! Yes, you appreciate that small broken eraser because it was there when you really needed it and it’s also a memory because your son decided to pick it up and talk to you through it!

Connections

We connect with everyone around us, whether we are walking past them on the street, they are part of our group (family, friend, co-worker, etc.), or we see them on a screen, watching our favorite characters. We all connect with someone in some way…

  • Laugh ~ Everyone has that one person who makes us laugh, whether we are hanging with a friend, watching a particular movie, show, video, listening to a podcast… You get my point. When we need happiness, we have places we look first to cheer us up. Where do you go first?
  • Love ~ Love comes in many forms. If you love music, play it, sing it at the top of your lungs and jam out. Love movies, watch your favorites. If you love being around people, see if you can get together. Do what you love and see those you love to experience more joy.
  • Relationships ~ As I mentioned above, like right above, the relationships you have with people can bring you happiness. Just think about it. I bet you can think about that one person and they put a smile on your face. Who is that person and can you go see them to experience that thing called happiness that makes joy last longer?
  • Positivity ~ Find those things that create positivity within your life and keep them around. Now, I’m not you, so I can’t tell you what those things are, but you do, so go get them and make certain you see them every morning and whenever you need some joy in your life. Surround yourself with positive people and things (pictures/memories/etc) that create positivity in your life.

 

Create Joy:

You can find joy in many places and in many ways, but what about creating joy, and not just for you, for others too!

Painting
Image by Prashant Sharma from Pixabay
  • Plan ~ When you need joy, well, you never know when you’re going to need it so, gather those things that give you cheer and keep them close for when you need them. Keep that positivity with you at all times. Use a small journal to keep a list of things that bring you joy, add images, photos, phrases, anything that brings you joy and look at it when you’re feeling down.
  • Find Purpose ~ What are you passionate about? Where do you find inspiration? Go after them! Find your purpose! Enough said.
  • Accomplishments ~ Create a running list of your accomplishments, no matter how small, put them on there and see how long your list gets. Enjoy the feeling, knowing your rocking it!
  • Create a Story ~ Not just any story… You only get one life, one story, make it one you WANT to tell people about. Create, dream, achieve!
  • Challenge Yourself ~ Do those things you’ve always been wanting to try, challenge yourself to do something new; find, create, achieve joy in your life.
  • Create Something ~ That thing you’ve been putting off creating, do it. Make the time to get it done. Sometimes you have to literally create your joy!
  • Take a Leap of Faith ~ Don’t try to keep making things work that aren’t; let them go, find a new angle and make room for the new.
  • Create Inspiration ~ However you feel to take this is up to you; find your inner child and let it free, take a walk in nature, pray, create, explore, inspire.
  • Take the Bad with the Good ~ Yep, there are going to be times when you just need to cry, so cry. It’s okay, but don’t forget what you’ve learned here. Grab and hold those things that bring you joy and revisit them often.

 

Final Thoughts

We, as humans find and create joy in so many ways from revisiting our childhood and eating ice cream cones with crunch/sprinkles to creating things that inspire others; from watching fireworks and finding rainbows to reminiscing and collecting what makes us happy. Whatever it is that brings you joy, keep it close. You never know when you’re going to need a pick me up.

 

 

Smile

The power of a smile can do wonders, but what can it really do?

Let’s look at it further…

WIKI

  • A facial expression comprised by flexing the muscles of both ends of one’s mouth, often showing the front teeth, without vocalisation, and in humans is a common involuntary or voluntary expression of happiness, pleasure, amusement or anxiety.
  • To have (a smile) on one’s face.
  • To express by smiling.
  •  To look cheerful and joyous; to have an appearance suited to excite joy.
  •  To be propitious or favourable; to countenance.

Dictionary.com

  •  To assume a facial expression indicating pleasure, favor, or amusement, but sometimes derision or scorn, characterized by an upturning of the corners of the mouth.
  • To regard with favor:
  • To assume or give (a smile, especially of a given kind
  • To express by a smile
  • The act or an instance of smiling; a smiling expression of the face.
  • Favor or kindly regard

 

So What are The Benefits of Smiling?

I bet you never thought that there were benefits to smiling, so it’s a good thing I’m here to inform you of just that very thing!

Smiling Makes You Look Younger

Well, aren’t we all striving to look younger? Here is an easy way (something else we are always looking for) to make you look younger. Just start smiling!

Laughter Benefits

Have you ever walked down the street and seen someone who just looked pissed at the world, you try to smile at them and hope that you’ve cheered them up just a little. I bet if you asked how old they were, you would think they were older than they really are. Those frowns cause your facial features to crease and turn down leaving those who see you to have the impression you are older than you actually are. So give a smile back and start looking younger!

Smiling Elevates Your Mood and Creates a Sense of Well-Being

So that’s the reason my husband is always making me smile. I have to agree with this. Smiling does, even just a little bit, lifts my mood when I’m down. Anyone else feel like that?

You’ve had a bad day, and you feel like nothing will make you happy, but your significant other, friend, sister, whoever tries their hardest to make you laugh? They get you to crack just a tiny smile and you end up giving them a jab for their efforts, but it did the job. You feel better and now you’re smiling. Mission accomplished.

Smiling Induces Pleasure in the Brain (More than Chocolate)

A study showed that one smile could generate the same level of stimulation in the brain as 2,000 chocolate bars. Now I’m not sure I believe that this to be true, I love my chocolate and it certainly will cheer me up better than a smile some days, but you never know.

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Even a Forced Smile Can Lead to a Better Health

They  say that smiling can relieve stress, boost immune system, and lower blood pressure. I guess smiling could do those things if it’s capable of boosting your mood. It could calm you and allow your body to do as it was meant to accomplish if you’re no longer worrying over things happening at the moment.

So, take a break, smile and you may just improve your health. Hey, what easer way do you need to do that?

Smiling Makes You Seem Courteous, Likable, and Competent

This may seem like common sense, but smiling like so many other things in our lives is something I think most take for granted. You never really understand the action until you really think about it (or loose the ability to perform the action).

May Not Know

When you meet someone and you’re smiling you’re definitely more inviting than if you were frowning so it would only be reasonable that you would seem courteous and likable.

As for the competent part, I would think that would be related to posture and how you present yourself as to how competent you seem. People can see through a fake smile in a New York minute and if you really don’t want to be somewhere, others can always tell that by your manners. I’m just saying there are other factors at play for this one, but I’ll leave the final decision to you.

Why You Should Smile

Well, if they things I just mentioned don’t get you smiling, I don’t know what will. You are a hard shell to crack. Just kidding!

Along with the reasons above, smiling creates a more inviting atmosphere around you. As I mentioned, we as humans are social creatures and smiling tells others that you are approachable. No one wants to talk to someone who looks like they haven’t smiled or had a happy moment in 30 years. There are people like that, you know you’ve seen them.

Walking down the street, you almost void eye contact in the hopes you don’t catch their negative atmosphere or worse, makes them even more upset because you’re happy and they’re not.

Laughter

Other than the view others would have of you, smiling for yourself is just as powerful. You create happiness with everything you do, even when you’ve had a bad day, I bet you can think of something that would make you smile. Your kids playing, your furbabies, your significant other, the memories we have and the times we’ve spent with them cause you to crack a smile.

So remember, there is always something to smile about. We’ve recently loss one of our kitties. It was a strange day, I woke before either of my kids to find that he passed away during the night. He was sick, and we were sad, but a few days later we were talking and reminiscing of the times we had with that little firecracker of a cat. He was such a joy to have in our lives, (no matter how annoying his tendencies were). It shows that we are able to create happiness even through dark times.

What a Smile Can be Used For

We use smiles for many different reasons, but what are they?

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We use smiles in greetings, to show affection, to cheer the broken hearted, and to reminisce of times past. We use them to communicate our feelings and our confidence.

What can you think of that you use a smile for?

How a Smile can Inspire

Smiles are the universal communicator of happiness and joy. Why do you think the Mona Lisa has been so memorable? It wasn’t just the artist, who is renowned for his work, but her smile has gone down in history. It’s the first thing you think of when you think of the Mona Lisa.

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Smiles can inspire and encourage others from images to real life. People take pictures daily and in each one the subjects (or a majority of them, there is always that one person who refuses to cooperate) are smiling. As they look back on that photo, they don’t want to remember a time that wasn’t happy, joyous or entertaining.

A smile is a powerful tool, one you always have in your arsenal ready to be used whenever you need. It creates happiness just by the action of using it. What could be more powerful than that?

How do you use your smile to encourage others? How has a smile encouraged you?

Relationships

Real Relationships

In a previous post, we talked about fictional relationships, so I thought we could touch on real relationships as well. Relationships are everywhere within your short life, so much so, that you may not realize you even have some. As you go about your day, you’re creating them, nurturing them, building them up and in some cases breaking them down or losing them. The relationships you have with others are what make us who we are. It’s what connects us to those around us.

Types of Relationships

As you go throughout your day, you connect with people on many levels and in different ways. Each unique in its own way. Let’s take a look at a few.

Romantic

Those of a deeper level than any other; this is where trust, love, and commitment are at their highest (or at least it should be.) Relationships in this category are those that are built on respect, and evolve as each grows within the relationship. They cherish each other and build each other up as they grow beside one another.

Romantic relationships should be nurtured. You as a couple should talk about what you want out of the relationship and what each expects of each other. You both have differences and believe me, those differences are going to clash, but talking things out before or early within the relationship will help you get an understanding of what each other feels is important in your relationship and as an individual.

Family

Family

This relationship is on a level just as deep as the above, but in a different way. There is still trust, love, and commitment to each other within this relationship. Your family is there for you no matter what. The dedication to each other through anything even when angry, upset or holding a stupid grudge. If you need something, they will be the first to respond without question.

This is a bond built on years of parent/sibling dedication, support, and so much more. Nothing should come between you and those within your family.

Friends

Friends

Next in line is the connection we have to those we spend our free time with. We talk with them about things going on and trust their advice. They may be the first we go to for help, and our real friends are like family.

They’ll drop everything to help when the need arrises, support you when you need it and give you the truth, even when it hurts. Thats why we love them so much.

Work

Work/Business

In this category are those that we work with. Now some may be friends and you’ll spend time with them outside of the work arena, but most are those you see only when you work and nothing more.

You get along with some, but not others and this relationship is there to benefit both since neither wants to lose their job because of something ridiculous. You tough out the bad days and enjoy the good ones. (Unless they drive you to leave, then you get to start new work relationships!)

Acquaintances

Those you see occasionally, such as the store clerk that scans your groceries or church members. Of course some of these could also become friends, but you get what I mean.

These are those you see occasionally and don’t usually spend a lot of time with. Once or twice a week you gather and only because you have another reason for being around them.

You’re polite and nice, and when the event is over, everyone goes their separate ways.

Run-ins

Run-Ins

Now here is something you may not realize, but these are those that you have the smallest amount of contact with. Those you walk by on the streets, but may not even talk to.

Yes, your relationship with them may be short lived, but it’s a relationship none-the-less and can impact them or they can impact you in a monumental way. Remember a smile or a helping hand can go a long way!

What Makes a Great Relationship

Great relationships, no matter what type, take time and energy to keep functioning as they should. Below is a list of qualities needed to make a relationship great.

This is in no way all of the items we need, but they are the more important ones (in no particular order).

Commitment

In any relationship, a commitment is made to provide certain attributes of yourself. You dedicate your time, your skills, jokes, or anything else that will create a deeper connection to the ones you are in a relationship with.

This goes both ways, it’s something we expect as humans from those in a relationship with us as well as us with them.

Compromise

Compromise

Though each involved should compromise when ideas aren’t the same. You should also find a way to work out how each of you can do the things you love to do.

You shouldn’t have to give up those activities you love to please someone else. They should be happy you’re doing what you love as you should be happy they are doing what they love.

This goes for things around the house as well or any other aspect that needs to be discussed. Divide those chores to create a well oiled mechanism or project your working on with your friends.

Whatever it is, remember to work together. Relationships are centered around teamwork. It’s a good thing we all learned that at a young age, right?

Forgive

Forgiveness

Learn to forgive. Whether the things your forgiving is a bump against a stranger on the street or something larger by someone closer (insert imagination here).

Learn to forgive others of their mistakes as we all make them. No one is perfect and we shouldn’t expect those we are in a relationship to be something we ourselves cannot be.

Effort

Effort

Yep, you knew I was going to put this in here, because it’s true. If each person within the relationship doesn’t put in the effort to create the best relationship for all, then the relationship will falter and fail.

I know some who are never happy unless everyone else in the group is happy and that is not what I’m talking about. Each must put in the effort to create a relationship where everyone is happy and no one feels they have to outdo the others to create a welcoming and fun atmosphere.

Understand

Understanding

This one is something that a lot of people need to learn. I’ve seen in some relationships where understanding is almost non-existent. (or perhaps those are all the stories I read, oh well, it happens, so let’s continue) While you expect certain things from the other(s) within your relationship, they also expect certain things from you.

One of those things it to be understanding. To be understanding of their feelings, their likes and dislikes, their hobbies and their daily routines. If you can’t understand them on a deeper level, you’re going to have a hard time keeping your relationship where it needs to be.

RespectRespect

One of the most important qualities of a relationship is respect. There is no greater gift than that of respect. Even if it’s with someone you just met, respect can go a long way.

There’s really no more to say than that.

Evolve

Evolves

With all things, you and your relationships will grow and evolve. As it changes you and those within your relationship will need to change with it. If you can’t do that, it will become very hard to keep your relationships as they are.

Everyone changes and grows and your relationships are no exception. Work with the changes and everything will go just fine.

Final Thoughts

Even though it takes a lot to create, keep and grow relationships. It’s one of the most rewarding things you could ever do.