Why is joy so important? It is what allow you to thrive, whatever your circumstance may be.
Joy may seem like one of the many ways to describe happiness, so why is it different and why is joy so important?
For me, it was because I was tired. Especially as a new mom, every day was such a roller coaster of emotions! It just took five minutes of screaming to shift me from happily in love with my baby to frustrated with my inability to help her. I loved my baby, but constantly living in this cycle was exhausting! Learning to find joy is what allowed me to start thriving again as I learned to be an imperfect mom, and it probably saved my life when I lost my son.
You are going to learn all about what is joy, why is joy so important, and the benefits of joy.
This post is all about why is joy so important
Why is Joy So Important?
First of all, what is joy?
Joy is trust that your life is for your benefit. It is a constant heartbeat that gives you energy and keeps you going, whether you are struggling or cruising. When you learn to look at life with joy, hard times have purpose and it is easier to find happiness in even neutral moments!
And the great thing? Joy is a mindset that can become a habit. It is something you can practice and build without spending a penny or changing anything else. However, turning the mindset of joy into a habit is exactly what makes it seem so out of reach for some people.
The fact is, any habit is built with time and can be difficult at first! The first time I stepped foot in a gym was in college, it took a lot of physical and mental energy to work out for an entire hour. Nowadays, some days are harder than others but it is never as hard as that first workout.
I get it. Anything that requires consistent work is automatically less appealing, but I am going to show you why is joy so important, and why it is a habit worth building…
1. Joy turns neutral things positive
Let’s be real, most of our day is filled with activities that feel pretty neutral: you get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, etc. At first glance, it doesn’t seem too exciting! Once you have mastered joy though? You wake up grateful for however much sleep you got. You get dressed, trusting that a brief glance at the weather is enough to dress you well for the day. Then you can eat breakfast, enjoying the taste or the health benefits you know it will give you.
When neutral things become positive experiences, an average day isn’t “eh.” It is a gift! Joy helps you appreciate each day, even if nothing particularly special happened.
2. Joy makes it easier to serve others
One thing gets in the way of serving more than anything else: insecurity. Maybe you lack confidence in your worth or that your priorities will be taken care of. Whatever the reason, if you don’t trust that you will be taken care of, it is hard to want to take care of others!
When you can trust that your life is for your benefit, you don’t have to worry as much about forcing life to “go your way.” So much of your energy and time will be opened up when you trust you will be taken care of! When those resources are freed up, it is so much easier to serve and connect with those around us!
3. Joy improves your physical health
There are so many physical benefits of joy (you can read more about them HERE), but I think most of them are actually symptoms of one benefit: it reduces stress. Some stress is important to strengthen us, but too much stress has a negative impact on nearly every system in the body! It affects our sleep, eating patterns, hormones, blood pressure, digestion, and so much more. When you trust that even traditionally stressful situations are for your benefit, it is easier to avoid stress, or at least decrease it!
4. Joy puts negative things into perspective
This is why people nitpick about joy versus happiness. It is not possible or even desirable to be happy on the time, but it is possible to trust that your life is for your benefit, aka have joy. When I lost my son, heaven knows I was not happy. In fact, it made the words “soul-crushing” feel like an understatement. However, every single pice of my soul could feel that the moments I had with my son were for my benefit, even if I did not get as many as I wanted.
When you trust that the hard moments are for your benefit, it is easier to find the strength to keep going. Negative aren’t trying to tear you down. They become more of a hard stage of the renovations of your life. Sometimes you are fixing the foundation and other times you are replacing a leaky faucet, but either way you know you are going to end up with a better home because of it. The life and death of my son changed me, but trusting those experiences were for my benefit has made it easier to heal and focus on the ways he changed me for the better.
5. Joy opens your mind
In today’s world, there is an emphasis on having our lives “figured out.” You shouldn’t fight with your spouse. Your career should have a clear path. You should be taking perfect care of your physical and mental health. Life isn’t perfect, yet that is what we all seem to want it to be. Joy challenges that idea. If you trust that your life is for your benefit, then today is perfect for today’s version of you.
That trust frees you to explore whatever opportunities today brings. It opens you to constantly explore, rediscover your priorities, and use today to better live them. Joy guides you discover paths that you may have never been open to exploring otherwise.
Luckily for us, unlike fleeting emotions, joy can be a habit that serves as the heartbeat of a happy life. Like any habit, it can take effort to develop, but, with time, you will reach a point where you can’t imagine life without it!