We have so many coping mechanisms when we begin to be unhappy.
When we begin to lose what makes us happy, what makes us tick on the inside.
When we ultimately lose our joy.
We turn to food and/or alcohol, mind-numbing activities like binging on tv or video games, excessive shopping, unhealthy addictions, and personal degradation. We begin to just “exist”. So just go through the motions of life without anything that is truly fun to us. That makes us belly-laugh or cry tears of joy.
I’ve recently found myself in this place the past few months, and realized it was a gradual process over many years. And when I had been making enough headway with improvements in my own patterns, diet, and exercise, something was still missing.
Why could I not lose that final 10 pounds that I’d been working on for months, even years? Why could I not buckle down to be consistent in my eating and healthy routines? Why was I repeatedly self-sabotaging when I did begin to see changes?
Ultimately it was not a discipline or commitment factor, it was a joy-factor.
But how I could I get my joy, my spark, back? Where had it gone?
It was lost along the journey of being a business owner and juggling too many things. A to-do list that was never ending. Money crunches that were always looming. Stress that always present at some level.
So I had to go back to basics.
Really get to the heart of the matter, and even define who I was again. Was I solely defined by my business? By my brains? By my talent? Who did God see me as? Who did HE create me to be?
I knew in the earnest exploration of those questions that I would find myself again. I knew that there was no time like the present to set things straight, because tomorrow is not guaranteed.
So into my journal I dove. Pages upon pages and hours upon hours of reflection, expression, honesty, tears, cries of frustration and ultimately resolution.
When you can reconnect, even in the smallest way,to something that brings you even a hint of true joy to your soul, you have started the path to your healing.
In my case it was returning to what I like to do as a child. When I was not bogged down with “adult” responsibilities or self-imposed limits. And for me that is singing and dancing. Being creative in almost any form. Really flexing my creativity muscles, regardless of people’s opinions.
And literally the second I returned to these activities for my own pleasure and that of God’s, the joy returned. And oh, I was so desperate to feel even a drop! But the beauty about God’s joy is it satisfies you at a level nothing or no one ever could. It’s because you’re tapping into who your soul was created to do and be.
So how does this ultimately relate to changing the balance on the scale?
When we have true joy thriving inside, we are now engaged with things, people or circumstances that continue to foster that joy. When you are truly joy-ful, your cravings and your body’s urges to satisfy yourself with food or unhealthy coping strategies begins to decrease. And ultimately becomes non-existent.
But you have to do your part to reconnect to your joy! If and when you do, you will realize this is the natural response and progression. It’s not forced. You’re not just “extra disciplined.” The need is no longer there. Joy has taken it’s place. And a joyful heart and soul do not need self-soothing from any other source than God’s joy.
If you’ve lost your joy and feel that life has become “sub-par” or just “going through the motions”, I urge you to begin a deeper exploration. Try these strategies:
- Get into nature and have a heart-to-heart with God. Don’t hold anything back. He can handle it.
- Grab a journal and start letting everything that’s been bottled up have an outlet to release
- Think back to your childhood. What did you like to do? What was fun for you? What or where were some of your favorite past-times? How can you begin to reincorporate those elements into your adult life?
- Ask those close to you how they perceive you. What natural gifts and talents to they see you have. Thank them for their insight. Do not dismiss their observations. Take them to heart.
- Find some Bible studies about joy.
- Read Beth Moore’s book “Get Out of That Pit.”
As you begin reconnecting with yourself and reincorporating elements that bring you true joy into you life, things can change very fast! Don’t be surprised or afraid of this! You will have more clarity on your goals. More determination and discipline in your health. Your old coping mechanisms will begin to fall by the wayside and the pounds will begin to fall off. It’s a beautiful correlation. 🙂
In fact, I’d love to hear what comes up for you and what ways you’ve found to begin bringing joy back into you life. Share in the comments below, or connect with me further in my free private community on Facebook, Worthy To Be Me. I’d love to have you there and hear from you during your #joyjourney.
P.S. Because I feel so strongly about wanting you to get the joy back in your life AND I know and believe in the power of journaling to facilitate that process,I’m running a 14 day journaling workshop called Journaling into Joy. We kick off Thursday, Nov. 10th until the 24th. The day before Thanksgiving.
What a perfect time of year to really feel joy in your life. Not have to “fake it” because we’re all “supposed” to be happy this time of year…I want it to be REAL for you. Learn more here. Only a few days left to join!