Joy - and all it brings to our lives
I have really enjoyed researching and writing about joy during October, in fact you could say it has given me great joy! One of the biggest realisations I had from diving further into joy is that it is not dependant on what we do or do not have. Pleasure from joy can be found in our everyday lives wherever we are or whatever we may be doing, and it is often in the smallest of detail or in the most unusual places.
Whilst recently looking at the fountain in Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells, I spotted these lovely angels perched under the cascading water. I often walk there and look at this fountain, yet I’d not noticed them before, and as I watched them, I realised that I was meant to see them now, and to experience a sense of wonder.
I read about how joy is the oxygen we need to keep our inner light shining, and how it boosts our resilience and happiness too. It can do this by distracting us from the crazy events happening in our world, and by giving us that tingling feeling when we experience our own joy at something or someone special to us. When we inevitably have to return to the real world, we carry a renewed sense of perspective and feel more able to cope with life’s ups and downs.
For me, laughing with a group of like-minded people at Southborough Laughter Club gives me enormous joy. I love watching them unbutton their stresses and loosen up their inhibitions, and finally let go of conformity with a good belly laugh and a dose of fun – it is pure bliss to witness!
All this joy and laughter brings massive health benefits as well by lowering our blood pressure, improving our sleep pattern, helping our cardiac output and of course squashing cortisol and flooding our system with endorphins, promoting that feel good factor. And crucially at this time of year, it boosts our immune system to help us fight off seasonal coughs and colds.
I’d like to share some feedback with you that I received after a laughter session recently -
“I have to admit the time I spent at the Laughter Club was utterly absorbing. Not once did my infinite to-do list sneak into my head. However hard or soft you go for it, it is near impossible to think about anything else while you’re there”. *
So as you go about your day, be curious and notice what brings you joy. Chances are it will arise in a moment, and quickly vanish, unless you capture it and appreciate it for what it brings to your life.
I wish you love, peace and abundant joy.
*Feedback gratefully received from Catherine Mead at catherinemeade.co.uk