The past two years haven’t been easy for anyone.
Six weeks before the end of 2020, a van hit me as I was crossing the road.
I ended up in hospital with a fractured back for almost two weeks. What followed was a long recovery with several setbacks along the way.
But however tough the time was, it has also proved to me that we are never alone, and no storm lasts forever.
It’s the hard times that makes us stronger. So, I had to dig deep inside me to find the strength to overcome the difficulty I faced.
It would be a lie if I said that it was easy. Oh no, with the pain came tears and my mental health also suffered.
Almost two months after my accident, I was diagnosed with PTSD, and as time moved on, the pain turned into chronic pain.
I was learning to be patient with myself, although there were days when my pain fueled anger and frustration. And whilst I was holding onto faith and positivity, it wasn’t always easy. I learnt to be patient, but hope and my belief helped me see the blessings in disguise.
God showed me that there was not a moment when I was alone. He was there with me, for me. God was there with me every time I was awake in pain, praying whilst tears rolled down my face. He taught me that my pain has a purpose and that my suffering wasn’t pointless.
The recovery has been a long process.
I was learning to walk again, to embrace the outside world. In order to fully recover, I had to recover from both sides, inside as well as outside.
During the recovery, my life changed. I’m not only talking about the things we had to adapt in our house to accommodate my needs after coming out of hospital. My life has changed in every way.
It slowed down as I needed rest to recover, my priorities changed, and I learnt that things don’t need to be perfect for us in order to enjoy life. That there is happiness and joy to be found amidst life’s trails.
How to Find Joy in Your Journey of Every Day Life
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There are days in our lives when the clouds cover the sunshine. These are the days when the darkness is so dark that it absorbs all the light. It is the time when because of our pain and frustration, we can’t see the joy and happiness life brings. Those are the days when life seems to be just black and white.
Let’s change the narrative and try to see good even in darkness. Find the joy of life in everyday struggles. There are ways to do so.
What can help you then to find joy in your life?
Recall Positive Memories
We can see much more joy by turning negative things into positive ones. However, there are times when this doesn’t come so effortlessly, especially during hard times, when we can’t find much positivity around us.
And that’s when we need to create our anchor.
Your anchor can be any memory of a time when you were happy, such as memories of a holiday, your favorite song, your best friend, or a prayer. It can be anything that brings a smile to your face.
According to this study, recalling those positive memories can positively impact our mental health and wellbeing. Another study also showed that memories of successfully solving a problem or completing a task, and the personal growth associated with this, also help to increase positive emotions and decrease negative ones.
Change Your Perspective
When you really struggle to think of anything positive, try to change your perspective. Be aware of your thoughts. Whenever you are thinking of something, observe your thoughts. Are they negative or unhappy?
Then follow them up with something happy, something positive. This way, you can replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. Instead of asking ‘Why is this happening to me?’ ask yourself, ‘What is this teaching me? What is God trying to tell me, to show me?’
Doing this may prove to be a game-changer. And remember, God doesn’t want you to worry. So instead of worrying about your life, start to focus on Him. By doing so, you can find joy in everyday life.
You have to realize that even if your day doesn’t go as you want, even if it isn’t easy to deal with things today, you still have today. You woke up in the morning, God gave you a new day, and the best thing is that there is the hope of another day tomorrow.
A new day when everything can take a very different turn to today, and things may be much better. Going to sleep with gratitude will help you to see this.
Therefore, think at least of one thing you are grateful for that day when you do your prayer at the end of the day. Do you remember the rain you weren’t happy about today? This rain is actually one of the sources of drinking water that quenched someone’s thirst today.
So, you can be grateful for things that at first may even appear to be negative. Therefore, give God thanks for them when you pray today and wake up tomorrow with a grateful heart.
By doing so, you’ll see the joy of life in even the smallest moments of your day because it is there. We only need to open our hearts, mind, and soul to see it.
Now, you’ve woken up with a grateful heart, happiness is within you, and you can start to spread it around you. You found another joy in life. And you can see that when you spread happiness around, there is, even more, returned your way.
Do you find yourself standing in front of your wardrobe for ages thinking what to wear? Whatever outfit you decide to go for, pair it with a smile. And then give it to someone on your way to work. It may change someone’s day. And when they smile back at you, it may make your day too.
Those little acts of kindness aren’t that little. They actually have a huge impact and grow greater every time we share them. Therefore, don’t keep them just for yourself.
So, the question isn’t if there is joy in everyday struggles, but if we are ready to open our hearts and look for it.
Changing your perspective, practicing gratitude or just being compassionate may not make the daily struggles disappear entirely. It doesn’t mean that we won’t ever stumble over obstacles in our life. It will, however, help us to focus on our blessing.
This way, you will be able to count your blessings instead of your worries and so find joy amidst everyday struggles again.