Find The Joy Via Appreciation – A Top Strength

How to Find Joy… Even When Life Is Feeling Awful

By Martha Bodyfelt
When we are experiencing loss and sadness in our life, everyday can feel like a struggle. Whether it is recovering from loss of a loved one, divorce, a lay-off, or anything else, we forget to care for ourselves and to find joy at the time when we need it most.

Learning how to reinvent ourselves, establish our independence again, and figure out what we want during this next chapter of our lives is a bit overwhelming. Oftentimes, we may forget to see all the wonderful things that await us.

Often, we get so bogged down with the stress, overwhelm, and emotional roller-coasters that we forget about all the things that we have going for us. But learning to find joy in your life, especially while navigating loss, is an incredible gift that you can give to yourself. And it can be easier than ever when you ask yourself the following.

What amazing things are in your life that you may have overlooked?

We have this unfair expectation that only huge milestones in our lives are worth celebrating. But what about the day-in/day-out struggles that we endure? We don’t give ourselves enough credit for the things we have accomplished. Every day that you take control of your life, every day that you learn a little more about managing money and re-entering the workforce, every day that you get a little bit stronger and take care of yourself and put yourself first and realize that you are worthy of getting your confidence back and reclaiming your life is something you should celebrate.

So, what things will you start to celebrate?

Finding joy in your life is the most important step to learning how to heal and move on. It is also the easiest but most critical component of taking care of yourself as you recover from loss. Another way to approaching finding joy can come from asking yourself the following.

What is yours that nobody can take?
Answering this question establishes the solid foundation for celebrating what is good in your life. These answers are simpler than you think.

When the world still seems like a disaster, or when you are angry over something that happened today, or you saw something or heard something that triggered you into feeling resentful or grief-stricken, you must do this:

Write down 5 things for which you are grateful
These things do not have to be extravagant. In fact, the simplest of things are usually the best, because they remind us that we are still alive and that we will be okay. Need some inspiration? Take a look at last night’s entry into my own notebook.

Make it as easy as possible for yourself

A simple habit can change your outlook.This is not a just-one-and-done thing, however. You must make this a habit in order for it to work. Some studies show that it takes 21 days of practice to make something a habit, but you will start to notice the change in your outlook in three days of writing.

You may also see patterns of things for which you are grateful — things that appear in your notebook regularly. It’s not a coincidence. It’s a sign that these are the things in your life that bring you joy, and these are the things you should celebrate. These are the things that, when you are angry or lonely, have the power to center you again and remind you that you have control of your life, that you are strong, and that regardless of where you have been, you will get your life and happiness back.