Staying Joyful
November 19, 2012
Staying Joyful

Dr. Laura asked, "What’s your secret for remaining joyful even in the midst of tough times?"  Here are a few of your responses...

1) I find if I take a walk, jog, or do some sort of exercise at least 30minutes every day, I feel SO much better about myself and life in general.
2) I go VISIT friends and family who I know love and support me, and make me laugh. There's something about BEING with a close friend or relative who loves you 100% that cannot be replaced with emailing, texting, Facebook, etc.

3) I hug my dog. Dogs are precious creatures and their presence can be so soothing and comforting.

4) I increase my volunteer visits as a CASA (child advocate for abused and neglected kids). Nothing puts life in perspective quite like visiting a child who was given the short stick of life in every possible way and bringing some small happiness to their day...and reminding me that there are SO many more people and children who are going through way worse circumstances than I am.

I really do believe we make a choice each day about how we approach the day, with a heart of war or a heart of love. I am married for 41 years and have two grown sons, each with lovely families. We have six grandchildren.  I am a registered nurse, still working after 40 years, and still finding some little thing to learn each day.

When I wake in the morning these older bones try to start me out in a grumpy frame of mind, but I refuse to relent in and am thankfulness I remain on the caregiver side of healthcare. Perhaps it's the work I do that helps me choose...after all, there are tragic stories too numerous to recall, that bring tears to share. But being able to share kindness and care reminds me of all the gifts I've been given.

It's not an easy choice, the one to keep encouraging and loving and putting one foot in front of the other, and I'm no Pollyanna, but it's the least I feel I can do given the joy I've been blessed with. God Bless this humanity we share.

Thank you for the work you do,. I often try to think what your responses will be to your callers and you should see my smile when I figure out your answer!  You are a blessing to so many, thank you!

I have a few ways to shift my attitude to gratitude (joy).

1. I start each day thinking of all the things I am thankful for (i.e. thankful for my husband; thankful I have my kids; thankful I was given today because many before me do not have today; thankful I have my 80-year-old mom.)

2. Looking at some old photos always makes me happy and helps me to realize how fast time is going so I need to enjoy each day.

3. I always say if you are feeling down just watch an episode of Jerry Springer or a similar talk show and all of a sudden you realize just how good your life is in comparison.

Your question about remaining joyful struck a chord in my heart. I had a truly dreadful childhood, complete with incest and neglect. I struggle now with chronic illness due to PTSD and auto-immune issues. And honestly, Dr. Laura, I have never been happier.

I have three vibrant, sparkling children and a husband who is my hero. He holds me in his arms when I struggle with flashbacks, gives me red roses when I am too triggered for sex, and takes my kids to the park so I can rest. We have shared pain been rejected by both of our extended families, and those losses have made us cherish each other more than ever. We have been married eleven years and I could never have imagined how much we would grow to love each other. I am a very happy person each time I ponder on my husband's heroic love and the innocence and independence of my beautiful children. I have seen some of the worst life has to offer and like a glowering sky, it makes the light of goodness shine brighter. There is so much that is good and true and beautiful, so much to be grateful for. And gratitude fills my heart with JOY!

I am still alive, free to pick GREAT friends, and own the best two rescue Dachshunds in the world. What's not to love?

I am continually reminding myself to find joy in every situation. I have a difficult time with traffic -- everyone else on the road can irritate me to no end -- so I recently made myself a "Find Joy" label for my dashboard. Now when I'm struggling with traffic, I look just below my speedometer for a quick reminder that I need to open my eyes to something good in my current situation. It works.

Posted by Staff at 3:40 PM