You Are In Charge Of Creating Your Own Joy

A woman in a leather jacket throws her head back and laughs on a city sidewalk
Alexandra Kirr / Unsplash

I’ve learned what it feels like to be sad. I’ve felt lonely, heart-broken, scared, and anxious. We all have. No one is immune to the plummet you feel in your chest when you hear news that you’ve been dreading, or when you see something you thought you were over. No one can truly say that every day has been a joy ride for them because the simple fact is that that’s not life.

The beauty of life is that it is meant to be lived. You are not meant to be unhappy, or scared, or anxious, even if that’s how you feel every single day. You are a person that is alive. You have air in your lungs and a beating heart, and that in itself is worth something. The first step to feeling okay is realizing that you are in the moment, and that your future depends on the actions you take right now.

No one person is going to bring you the joy you’ve been craving, just like face masks, good music, and chocolate ice cream aren’t going to make you magically love yourself. Something you need to remember is that you have control over the thoughts in your head and the feelings you choose to dwell on, and while other people can affect them, it is ultimately your choice to decide what is allowed to manifest itself in your mind. If you spend your time focused on the sadness, guilt, or heartbreak you feel, those feelings will continually dwell in your mind. That’s not to say that it’s easy to let go of the negative emotions you’ve been holding onto. Negative emotions, as harmful as they can be, have a certain comfort, because it is easier to believe the worst than to attempt to create the best.

It is easier to doubt yourself than it is to create your own joy. But creating joy is precisely what you need to do.

I’m no expert in life or love or happiness, but I am a person that has a heart and a brain and knows when to walk away from things that aren’t good for me. And sometimes, that’s all you can expect from yourself. It may be impossible to know what life has in store for you, and your path may seem blurry and lost. But it isn’t hard to realize when something in your life isn’t sitting right anymore. The hard part is finding the courage to remove it. Things that do not bring you joy are not worth the space they occupy in your life. Thoughts that don’t encourage you have no place in your mind.  People that don’t support you have no place in your life. Understanding even these simple concepts makes it so much easier to bring joy into your own life.

Joy isn’t just traveling the world, buying puppies, and eating ice cream. And joy is not necessarily an emotion you will feel daily. But it is possible. It starts with the uprooting of negativity in your mind and life, and slowly begins to manifest itself as you discover the things you love. And while a person can bring joy to you, it is not their responsibility to maintain it. That’s on you. Ask yourself: What is something I used to love doing? What are books I enjoy reading? Who are people that bring me happiness? Surround yourself with things and people that emit a positive energy. Focus on your physical and mental health, but don’t feel pressured for immediate change. Be patient with yourself and remember that it takes an incredibly strong person to move out from their comfort zone and attempt to better their life.

And remember, joy doesn’t have to be something big. Joy is the feeling you get when you realize you are okay with being alone for the time being, or the way your heart warms up when you see your best friend smile. Joy is knowing you are working towards an amazing life, while still being happy about the one you are in. You are a living, breathing being that deserves to feel so many things, so let yourself feel joy. TC mark

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