A while ago, I started having mild panic attacks brought on by anxiety. After seeing a therapist, I was advised to stop planning too far ahead and to resist catastrophizing. God has also been schooling me on trusting him.

One good outcome of the episode, is that I made up my mind to focus on happiness and joy, daily. You would be amazed how much time we spend each day, just completing routine tasks or fulfilling roles. We rarely take out time to just be happy.

Nowadays, my self-prescribed happiness recipe is: One song, one episode, one chapter, one conversation and one mindful moment.

I intentionally listen to a song I like, every day. And, I watch an episode of a delightful series (which happens to be Star Trek Discovery, at the moment). I also read a chapter from a book that empowers me, or have a conversation with one of my favourite people. Finally, I meditate and have one mindful moment, where I am fully present.

It’s harder to be unhappy when you take responsibility for your happiness and actively practice joy.

Happiness and joy prescriptions

During this period, I thought about how people are shamed for seeking happiness in the things that they love. They are told, “Joy is within you”, “Joy is in the Holy Ghost” or “Joy is greater than happiness.”

If the Holy Spirit is someone we build a relationship with, and he produces joy in us, we are effectively deriving it from someone else but us. Should we find happiness in knowledge, it is because we are benefitting from the teachings of others. And, if we experience it in nature, we are enjoying what we did not create. Even if we love stillness, it’s because our environment allows us to. When we experience a burst of pleasure from selfless sacrifice, it is from an act done unto others. Everything you find joy in, is actually a gift. You did not spontaneously create your own joy, so stop shaming people if they choose to seek theirs in conversations, while you do so in prayer.

Perhaps what we should encourage, is the deliberate practice of joy. The decision to choose it over our daily circumstances. Being mindful that there are some sources of joy that are more fickle than others.

For more, please read, Be Happy!

My self-prescribed happiness and joy recipe is, one song, one episode, one chapter, one conversation and one mindful moment. Click To Tweet