We feel better, and perform better, when we create joy.
Joyful experiences are enlivening, encouraging and energising. They are like rocket fuel for us to express ourselves fully as we really are.
During a pandemic, though, we have a couple of obstacles between us and the generation of joyful feelings:
1. We are swamped with negative inputs: the news is bad, our lives are restricted, much of what we love to do is unavailable – it’s like gravity has been ‘turned up’ and everything feels heavier.
2. We feel guilty if we’re joyful while others are suffering. “How can I feel good when my friend is in hospital?”, “How can I enjoy my job when many have lost theirs?”, “How can you laugh when the news is so grim?”
So, it isn’t easy. But, finding joy has never been more important.
If we allow circumstances to diminish us, or choose to disable our own responses, then we are committing to a lesser version of ourselves.
Investing in joy delivers a high return in happiness and performance.
For me, simple things like dancing with my daughter, going for a run or spending some peaceful moments in nature can make a massive difference to how I spend the subsequent hours.
We all have different tendencies and passions but we can find joy in the mundane, the simple and the inexpensive. It’s an investment worth making.
This post was adapted from one of Aodan’s Sunday morning newsletters, eagerly anticipated by hundreds of readers. Give yourself the gift of that weekly wisdom by signing up here.