Well Wishes: The Importance of Happiness

Living life while carrying heaviness can drain your energy and leave you feeling irritable, dissatisfied, and exhausted.

What is it about joyful people that just raises the vibration in everyday situations, taking life up a notch for seemingly small reasons? There are so many ways to center ourselves: actively practicing the art of gratitude, effectively lowering the stress hormone cortisol in our bloodstream, and allowing your body to relax and enjoy what is, sounds pretty self-explanatory.

Still, it can be difficult to see the silver lining of particularly rough situations, like a literal global health pandemic, or living in poverty and dealing with hunger and food insecurity, or experiencing racial strife at the hands of authority. Job loss, family stress, relationship problems and many other traumatic circumstances can consume us, making the future seem bleak and unappealing, or impossible. How often do we take notice of tiny, somewhat insignificant opportunities to add happiness to our lives in a healthy and authentic way?

“Enjoy” is a term I’ve been contemplating recently. Just like “encourage” means the act of helping someone to find a sense of inspired courage, the word “enjoy” similarly means to find a reason to be happy about where you are, who you are, and what you are doing in the present moment.

Enjoyment isn’t an easy task though, as silly as that may sound. It’s true though-- since a lot of the time, our own thoughts can get in the way of our happiness. Whether its anxiety and worry, or sadness and depression, these feelings can become overwhelming and cloud our judgment, or shatter our hopes for any happiness or positivity in the future. Disappointment, betrayal, lack of confidence and self esteem, abuse, and social isolation or lack of support can create longstanding emotional issues that may be hard to overcome or put behind you. As a result, 200+ million people all over the world suffer from issues such as depression and unshakeable sadness. Living life while carrying that heaviness can drain your energy and leave you feeling irritable, dissatisfied, and exhausted.

Healthy habits and hobbies that help us build self care routines and bring joyful vibes to our life are a great way to distract from rumination, racing thoughts, and catastrophic thinking, all of which are errors in the way we think and see our world. With clients, I often read through lists of hobbies found online, to assess their interest, their motivation, and their willingness to practice healthy coping skills. Yoga, walking, dancing, and swimming are great active hobbies with numerous benefits for our minds, bodies, and spirits. Contemplative activities like reading or writing, enjoying or creating music, or deep breathing during prayer or meditation can reduce stress in significant ways in people of all ages seeking time to reflect and engage with their inner voice. Take time to do things that fulfill you in meaningful ways.

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