A while back, we talked about being the joyful woman that your husband desires. We talked briefly about how our relationship with God reflects our level of joy throughout the day. Once you have a real relationship with the Lord, you can use some of these practical tips to keep that joy in your life.
1. Listen to uplifting music-Whether it’s praise music, upbeat instrumental classics, or even some kid tunes, play it often and play it loud. Music helps you to get moving and stay moving. It allows you to accomplish more, thus feeling more in control of your environment. Music also helps keep our minds active and give us less time to think about and dwell on the negative issues in our lives.
2. Be Thankful-As one of our readers pointed out, ”If we are ungrateful, there can be no joy.” We have all been given a gift that is absolutely priceless, the gift of Jesus Christ, which gives us forgiveness and hope. But even beyond that, we have all been blessed. Take time to make a list of your blessings. Physically write them out. Post them somewhere in your house where you will constantly see them. Add to your list daily. When you are having a day where joy seems to be missing, go and meditate on your blessings list. Praise God for what you do have, not what you don’t.
3. Invest in the joy of others- Derek has told the story many times of how when his mother was dying of cancer and he and his siblings were sad about the possibility of losing her, she would immediately gather them all up and take them to go do something for someone else. If you can’t seem to find joy for yourself, go and help someone else find their joy. In turn, you will probably find yours somewhere along the way.
4. Relax, Sit in silence, Pray-Take time for yourself. Many of us are so consumed with our daily lives that we don’t ever take the time to just sit and “know that He is God.” (Psalms 46:10) Take 10 minutes during your day to just be still. Try to also stop the chaos that is around you. Take advantage of your child’s nap/quiet time. Sit outside on the porch by yourself. Or take drastic measures and just lock yourself in the bathroom. However you do it, just take the time to “Be still and know that I am God.”
5. Laugh and Smile-It is a proven fact that when you genuinely smile and laugh, your body lets off endorphins in your brain and physically makes you feel better. Find something to make you smile. Whether it is your children, your husband, a beautiful day, a funny joke, whatever, just find something. When you smile and laugh, it is contagious. Nothing helps your own mood like having the mood around you be positive.
6. Avoid clutter-Some people thrive on busyness and clutter. However, most of us shut down and begin to stress out when clutter is surrounding us. Do a physical check of your house and try to remove as much clutter as possible. Simplify your life enough to where you feel good coming home every day. While you’re at it, de-clutter your mind as well. “Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” (Proverbs 12:25) 1 Peter 5:7 says to “give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
7. Avoid Gossip-Proverbs 18:8 and Proverbs 26:22 both say, “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.” The Bible isn’t clear on whether this is referring to the man being gossiped about or the man doing the gossiping. I believe it can be both. When you fill your life with gossip, you are filling your inmost being with negative thoughts. You are stealing joy away from both yourself and from those around you.
8. Your Joy is Your Own-Don’t allow your joy to be controlled by other people. Don’t depend on your husband or your children to make you joyful. In the same way, don’t allow others to take your joy from you. Don’t compare your life to others around you. God has blessed each of us with the blessings and trials that fit best into our own lives. Wishing for someone else’s circumstances takes God’s perfect will for us out of our lives.
9. Take care of yourself physically-This is an easy one that often gets overlooked. Get the rest that your body needs. That may be as little as 6 hours or as many as 9 or 10. Whatever it is, try to consistently get the sleep that you need. Take a daily vitamin. Drink as much water as you can stand. Exercise. The better you feel physically, the better you will feel emotionally.
10. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.” Phillipians 4:8