ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help
Facebook Google Plus
Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

On-and-off fasting helps fight obesity, study finds

Can Pomegranates Slow Aging?

Calorie restriction promotes longevity through effects on mitochondrial network

Discover Why Ashwagandha Can Be Used for Stress and Anxiety

How Can You Benefit From Vitamin B12?

A spoonful of oil: Fats and oils help to unlock full nutritional benefits of veggies, study suggests

Lower magnesium levels linked with increased mortality risk during up to 40 years of follow-up

Higher resveratrol dose linked to lower glucose levels in type 2 diabetics

What Is Bitter Orange?

Drug can dramatically reduce weight of people with obesity

 
Print Page
Email Article

Finding Joy in Every Day

  [ 22 votes ]   [ 2 Comments ]
By Suzan L. Jackson • www.ProHealth.com • July 6, 2015


Finding Joy in Every Day
Life with chronic illness is always challenging, but I have discovered some silver linings since I got sick with ME/CFS 13 years ago and my sons followed suit two years later. Although I've always been an upbeat person, chronic illness has made me more acutely aware of how important it is to find joys in my everyday life, even when things seem bleak. I'm not always able to do the big things that used to bring me joy – like vacations, long hikes, backpacking, or lots of socializing – but I have learned that ordinary life holds many extraordinary moments of small joys.

During a particularly difficult period in my early years of illness, I began keeping a Joy Journal (I picked a journal covered in polka dots which was, in itself, joyful!). At the end of each day, I jotted down things that had brought me joy that day. Sometimes, after a bad day, I had to really think hard to come up with things to write in it, but I began to realize that there were plenty of good things and small joys in my daily life, despite the boys and I being so sick.

Many of the things I wrote about were simple - singing a favorite song in the car with the top down, seeing a bright splash of colorful flowers in spring, or playing a game with my kids. I gradually began to recognize these small moments of joy. Some excerpts from my Joy Journal during those early days included:
  • Cuddling with my son’s soft little stuffed dog, Snowy, and being reminded of his love and generosity in lending him to me.

  • The air smells so deliciously sweet this morning – fresh, warm, springtime air.

  • Watching old home movies of the boys when they were so young. My heart fills with joy when I see my two-year old in his lion costume calling out, “Twick or tweet! I’m a lion!”

  • My morning cup of Orange-Tangerine Zinger tea.

  • Sunshine!

  • Listening to music – the rhythms and harmonies of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

  • Seeing a shooting star!

  • A roaring fire in the fireplace on a cold, wet, gray day.

  • Watching a movie with my husband and kids in the family room.

  • Being outdoors.

  • The bright, eye-popping yellow of forsythia in bloom – it’s literally breath-taking! I feel happy just looking at that bright splash of color.

  • Eating – and really savoring – good food with a variety of flavors, made with fresh ingredients, like the crab cakes soaked in lemon I had for dinner.

  • Lying in my warm, comfy bed at night reading a good book.

As you can see, none of these things I wrote down were all that unusual – they were tiny moments of joy in a very ordinary, quite limited life spent mostly at home. At the beginning of my illness, when I was struggling with depression and acceptance of my new life, these moments of joy were still there, but I wasn’t noticing them. Writing in the Joy Journal each night helped me to recognize that these ordinary joys were still there, and that my life was indeed still joyful and happy in many ways.

Once I recognized joy, I was also able to make sure I had more joyful moments in my every day life. I noticed in my journal that being outdoors always lifted my spirits, so I made a special effort to get out at least once a day, even if that just meant lying in a reclining chair out on my deck and looking at the clouds. My kids were often a source of joy, so I tried to give them my full attention more often – to focus on watching a video or playing a game with them, instead of always being distracted by things I needed to get done. I made myself a Feel Good playlist so that I could listen to music that lifted my spirits when I was having a bad day (just try staying in a bad mood while belting out “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor or “Happy” by Pharrell Williams).

I don't write in the journal every day anymore, but it's still there to remind me of the joy that is all around me. When I have a rough day or things get bad, I read past entries and resume my habit of writing down joys at the end of the day, and it always helps to lift my spirits.

Recognizing the joys in my life helped me to experience more of them. It’s a self-perpetuating thing – the more you acknowledge the joys in your life, the more joy you have. Take a look at your own life. Keep a Joy Journal or a diary of what you are grateful for so that you can learn to recognize what makes you happy. Every life – even a restricted life of chronic illness – contains many small moments of joy. Identify those moments of joy and celebrate them every day.
_______________

Suzan Jackson is a freelance writer who has had ME/CFS for 13 years. Both of her sons also got ME/CFS, but one is now fully recovered after 10 years of illness and the other is in college. She writes two blogs: Learning to Live with ME/CFS (with an emphasis on LIVE!) at http://livewithcfs.blogspot.com and Book By Book at http://bookbybook.blogspot.com. You can read all of her blog posts on Joy at http://livewithcfs.blogspot.com/search/label/Joy.



Post a Comment

Featured Products From the ProHealth Store
Ultra ATP+, Double Strength Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Optimized Curcumin Longvida®


Article Comments Post a Comment

The old advice still holds true
Posted by: luccio
Jul 7, 2015
'Count your blessings, name them one by one...'
:)
Reply Reply

even at 30 yrs there are some joys
Posted by: LivinStateOHope
Oct 11, 2015
At 30+ yrs w/ CFS (plus health problems that developed after, like a corneal dystrophy & being overly sensitive to sound, touch & other senses), I no longer can enjoy reading a book; music is painful.
HOWEVER, I got a peach that was RIPE & it tasted like summer! It made me feel so happy.
And I was getting ready to use steel wool & harsh chemicals on a toilet bowl's plaque that I (& house cleaners I've hired) didn't have the strength to remove for several years. I'd tried all kinds of things over the years & had anxiety that I would have to buy another toilet in order to sell my condo. I poured in regular cleaner & let it sit (mostly out of fear of facing that plaque). I came back & scrubbed & low & behold the plaque was gone. The toilet sparkled (or at least I think it did, my vision isn't that good). But that was a high that is still lasting days later.
Joys come harder now & I have to be happy over much less, but it is important to be aware when even the smallest thing makes you happy. It allows you to endure.
Pam, Living in the State of Hope (Rhode Island)
Reply Reply
 
Optimized Curcumin Longvida with Omega-3

Featured Products

Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils
FibroSleep™ FibroSleep™
The All-in-One Natural Sleep Aid
Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Vitamin D3 Extreme™
50,000 IU Vitamin D3 - Prescription Strength
Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor®
Reduce Fatigue up to 45%
Ultra ATP+, Double Strength Ultra ATP+, Double Strength
Get energized with malic acid & magnesium

Natural Remedies

Milk Thistle: Trusted Support for Health & Healing in a Toxic World Milk Thistle: Trusted Support for Health & Healing in a Toxic World
Could a B-12 Deficiency Be Causing Your Symptoms? Could a B-12 Deficiency Be Causing Your Symptoms?
How Glutathione Can Save Your Life How Glutathione Can Save Your Life
When a Good Night's Sleep Is Just a Daydream... When a Good Night's Sleep Is Just a Daydream...
The Remarkable Benefits of Reishi Medicinal Mushrooms The Remarkable Benefits of Reishi Medicinal Mushrooms

CONTACT US
ProHealth, Inc.
555 Maple Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(800) 366-6056  |  Email

· Become a Wholesaler
· Vendor Inquiries
· Affiliate Program
SHOP WITH CONFIDENCE
Credit Card Processing
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS
Get the latest news about Fibromyalgia, M.E/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease and Natural Wellness

CONNECT WITH US ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus

© 2017 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. Pain Tracker App  |  Store  |  Customer Service  |  Guarantee  |  Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  Library  |  RSS  |  Site Map