The Hunt for Joy
I have been thinking a lot about joy recently. “A joy is something or someone that makes you feel joyful or gives you great pleasure”, is the definition from the Collins English Dictionary. It is something quite different from happiness, that holy grail of emotions which can seem so hard to find. Joy can be found in so many places and created by a whole range of experiences but it often seems that we often overlook it and miss the opportunities to allow joy in.
In a world where it is possible to be endlessly distracted by the demands of others and social media, when we can feel overwhelmed by our emotions; are we paying enough attention to finding the moments of joy that can be quite literally, under our noses? Wouldn’t it be great to just relax and find joy from outside of ourselves?
I have been inspired by the recent book, "Joyful" written by Ingrid Fetelle Lee. The book takes the view that joy can be created within our own environment and that in doing so we can experience joy by surrounding ourselves with the right ingredients. As a coach, I find this idea compelling. How we think, act and relate to others is heavily influenced by how we experience the environment through our senses. What we see, feel, hear, taste and touch can alter the way we respond for the better or worse.
During the year of covid the positive effects of being outdoors on our sense of wellness were discovered by many people. It is generally acknowledged that being in a place were nature has a place, brings a feeling of calm and allows the body and mind to relax. How many of us found joy in the sound of the bird song and the clearness of the blue spring skies? So what about our indoor environment? How do we create that feeling of joy? This is not about interior design or buying lots of stuff. Creating joy is not about following the latest design trends. This is personal to you. You are then who knows which colours and patterns you find stimulating, calming or up lifting. Flowers or plants in a room, your favourite music playing, having your special photographs in view; all these can help focus your attention and bring moments of clarity and joy.
As a coach, I would be asking you, “ What brings you joy in your home, your family, among your friends, at work, in your garden?
Joy is something grander than happiness. It's an attitude of the heart and spirit. Joy is present, in the moment. It can be found if we choose to look.