“Joy is like paint; if you don’t spread it around, it dries up!” Those are words of wisdom from my friend, Bobbie Thompson, from Eagle Point Senior Living. She always makes me smile.
We were talking about the last two years, and January, and winter, and how it can bring down your spirits. “Don’t let it,” she exclaimed. “Let’s make January our Joy Month.” What a great idea.
Joy starts at home. If you are stuck in a rut, sitting alone, staring at the wall with a bad attitude, you aren’t likely to spread joy and not likely to feel any. Grab control of your thoughts and make sure they are focused on the best things in your life. Set your mind on positive things. Put on music you love.
Lift yourself up by imagining yourself in your happy place, you will be happier.
By spreading joy, you receive joy. Think about what was happening the last time you felt joy. Chances are good that it was when you were connecting with other people.
Surround yourself with positive people (like Bobbie Thompson), even if you are social-distancing. Call someone and lift them up. Send an encouraging note to someone.
Move. Take a walk, get out, get that blood flowing. Do something to make yourself feel better. Smile all the way to your teeth while you are doing it.
Who knows who you will meet on your journey. Who knows how much your friend might have needed that positive note. Warm someone’s heart and make them feel like they are part of the human connection. Go out and find your joy.
Simply smile. When we smile, we make others smile.
The biggest problem with these darn facemasks is that we don’t see the smiles. Be sure that when you have on a mask, you show your smile eyes, not your stink-eyes.
If you aren’t where others are, go there – whether in person or virtually. Connect. Laugh.
It can be anywhere. If you are in a grocery store, at home, or even in a nursing home recovering from surgery, you can spread joy by taking action. Smile and compliment the fellow humans that you come across. Whether it is being nice to the clerk in the store, waving to a neighbor, or talking to the nurse who comes into your room; notice them and say something nice. They will feel better. You will feel better.
When we think about ourselves, we rarely get excited, we rarely feel as much joy as when we make a little surprise for someone else, when we give them some little thing they really enjoy, or we give them a smile.
At the end of the day, the thing that lifts us up is lifting others up.
Smile. Move. Laugh. Engage. It is all something you can do today.
From now on, I think I am going to make my masks more fun by painting a smile on them. Join me in January (and right on into February!). Let’s make it Joy Month. What will you do to spread joy?