My little boy asked me, “Mummy, are you joyful?” And I was. But I didn’t realise I hadn’t been Woman with dark hair lying on a white fluffy blanket with her hands over her eyes. How do you find joy?experiencing joy in a while.

To be honest, the whole secondary school application thing had been weighing heavily on my mind. I decided the best tack was not to talk about it at all. The last thing I wanted was to stress my daughter out about it, and the only way I could keep sane was to forget about it.

I didn’t realise the impact this was having on my family. Of course, we all have times when we are not joyful. We may be tired, or ill, or there may be big problems in our lives. Under these and other conditions, it can be hard to be feel the joy.

Feeling weary

When life makes us weary, finding joy can be the last thing we are thinking of.  It seems like we are bogged down with everything that life is throwing at us.  We can’t see the way out.  This is when remembering the joy can be so valuable.Smiling toddler with lots of paint on her neck, face and arms. How do you find joy?

My husband can always tell when I’ve finished a piece of work, or a burden has been lifted.  He jokes about seeing the weight disappear from my shoulders.  I try to keep family life and work separate, but this isn’t always easy.  Some of my work directly involves my children, and I do it for the benefit of them and other people their age.  My work base is also in our home.  When the kids come home from school, I try to keep out of the study.  I’ve made a conscious effort not to answer emails when I’m supposed to be making the tea.  I can’t always avoid the phone call that comes in at 4.30 pm.

Being aware

It seems to be inevitable that we will have times without joy.  Being aware that this happens to us all is the first step towards remembering joy.  Noticing our negative thinking patterns can really help.  Trying to find the joy before we have spiralled right down into a place that is hard to get out of is a good idea.

Try to have a few cues.  Leave yourself a post-it note that reminds you of something that has made you laugh.  Put something silly in your desk drawer.  Change the background on your desktop or mobile phone regularly.  Just noticing when your thought processes are becoming negative can make a real difference.

Ideas to help us live a life of joy:

  • Notice the little things. A few leaves shaped like a butterfly. A wildflower growing between the Autumn leaves poking through a fence in the shape of a butterfly. How do you find joy?cracks of the pavement. A spider’s web frozen on a crisp morning.
  • Try to see the worldthrough the eyes of a child. Remember the magic of kicking through autumn leaves and finding unopened conkers.
  • Take time out for yourself.  Many people find mindfulness meditation helps them to let go of their everyday worries.  There’s lots of free meditation tracks out there.
  • Finally, if you are religious, this quotation from Matthew 10 may help you: 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Offering our worries to the Lord in prayer can bring us relief and joy.

How do you find joy?

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  1. Sometimes it can be hard to find the joy, sometimes I think we let it pass us by without even thinking about it and suddenly the moment of pure joy is gone. We should all try and grab hold of it and remember it.

  2. I really feel for you – we’re doing the whole primary school application process and it’s been weighing on my mind too. So much pressure to get it right – but I’m sure it will all work out in the end 🙂

  3. I hope the school application goes well! I definitely agree with taking time for yourself, I’m trying to rediscover my love of walking and listening to a good book which is helping.

  4. I’m starting to learn to appreciate the small things that I usually don’t notice with the changing seasons. It’s making me appreciate the beauty that all the seasons bring us. I used to find it so hard to enjoy winter so this is something new to me this year!

  5. What a thoughtful and heartfilled post. I am so sorry you’ve been through a time where joy wasn’t something that you were experiencing and that the whole family were impacted. I think as a parent we do tend to hide emotions but the sadder ones always seem to come out more, I’ve been through some dark periods in life and having my daughter changed me. I find joy in the fact that she is here and is healthy and happy

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