Do you want to experience more peace and joy – and the sort of happiness that isn’t dependent on your circumstances? Many of us want more of these in our lives, but the daily struggles and challenges we face can leave us feeling robbed of what peace and joy we have.
How can we experience more peace, whatever our circumstances, and become the kind of people whose joy is hard to steal away?
The pressures we experience, from both within ourselves and from the world around us, can have a negative impact on our sense of wellbeing. When we are robbed of our peace and joy – we often end up feeling antsy, anxious and afraid.
When we’re stressed-out, overwhelmed and overworked, we often want to find ways to feel better, fast. However, pursuing a superficial happiness based on things (or things going well for us) can cost so much – and deliver so little.
We believe that you are loved – and that all of us have an opportunity to live “life to the full” (John 10:10)
If you want to learn how to thrive (and not just survive) and to live life without regrets, it’s good to know how to cultivate a deeper sense of peace and joy. Here are three ways, to help you get started:
1. Nurture an attitude of gratitude
Developing a gratitude practise as part of your normal everyday life can have many benefits. Noticing and making a note of things you’re grateful for could be as simple as jotting down 1-3 things as bullet points in a notebook – or keeping a gratitude journal.
What might start out as a discipline can soon become a delight as we learn to relish and savour things we’d once barely noticed. Gratitude changes us, for good.
2. Press pause, be present – widen your perspective
Take time to stop, look up and look around. This helps us look at the bigger picture of our circumstances and surroundings – and take the focus off ourselves.
Whether things are going well or not, it’s good to remember that none of us are actually the centre of the universe. We’re a small but very valuable part of a much bigger story. When we recognise both our value and our smallness – and learn to enjoy and celebrate peace and joy despite our own circumstances, we can often experience greater calm and contentment.
3. Learn to live with purpose
Perhaps the greatest invitations of our lives, is to become part of a story that is bigger than us. Understanding who we are and what we have to offer the world is key. Exploring new ways to live generously for the benefit of others, using our time, money, gifts and skills can be a huge blessing to others, but can also provide a deep and lasting sense meaning and fulfilment that brings us true joy.
Taking steps to cultivate peace and joy in our own lives isn’t just good for us. It’s good for those around us, too. When peace and joy flow out of us, it becomes contagious and multiplies out into the world – as others experience the overflow.
People who embrace a lifestyle in which peace and joy flourish, make better leaders, bosses, colleagues, partners, parents and friends.
Learning to live with peace and joy, with God, one another and ourselves is no small task – but it is so worth it.