Most of the people rarely experience joy as the most dominant emotions are sadness and anxiety.
When we feel joyful, we interpret it as something good and pleasant has happened to our lives. It is a positive feeling that urges us to be open, play and be creative. Usually we feel happy and joyful when we feel safe great efforts to achieve.
In childhood, we are open to Joy (the Greek word is “chara”). Joy and game are synonymous to life and that is why children experience it most of the times.
As, however we grow, we feel it less and less. Childhood is the sense of freedom that is essential to feel the joy and the element of happiness.
As adults we have obligations, responsibilities and cares in our daily lives that keep us attached to the battle of survival. Mostly, though, as we age we adopt the belief that «grownups are serious, they do not play.»
It is important to feel free, act and express our emotions. Freedom can be seen as an internal feeling, ie, that state of consciousness of how we experience our position in the world and as externally, ie whether the external conditions are such that allow us or limit us from the right of freedom.
Our behavior and our thoughts are controlled by the perceptions we acquire for the social system in which we live in, through the so-called «Superego» – that part of our mental set that adopts the “dont’s” and ‘must’s’ which are imposed through parenting and the mechanisms of socialization.
The more authoritarian parents we have (or we had) the more limitations and restrictions are in our Superego that do not allow us to express freely our emotions. When the expression is free only then we can express our joy, this feeling that motivates us and fills us up with energy.
But how can we express Joy? When we smile, laugh, sing, be creative, show enthusiasm and passion.
In adulthood these expressions are almost «forbidden» in everyday life: out in the street, at work, in public social interactions.
As adults, to get in touch with the state of joy, we need to re-discover «the Child within us» and to experience a sense of freedom and relaxation regardless of the social conditions and rules.
In this way we can enjoy “the now” and focus on the present, surrendering our body and our senses of the illusion of control.
Joy seems to be a simple feeling and at the same time it is difficult to experience it; and when this happens it does not last for long. If we really need to make it last longer we have to practice systematically and without any guilt.
When we experience joy, It would be wise to eliminate the “too good to be true” attitude as the only thing we succeed is to sabotage these joyful moments. It is time to realize that Joy is a human right and we have to enjoy every moment of our life, regardless of the circumstances.
Joy, as any other positive feeling, has undoubtedly a positive impact on our lives and our health, physical and mental. In times of crisis and beyond, our positive attitude towards life seems to be the only pattern to adopt in order to live completely without guilt and remorse.
The most simple and effective method to practice in “Joy” is to learn to enjoy these little things of everyday life.
As you wake up every morning, as you swim, having coffee with a friend, hugging a loved one, walking in the warm sand, making love, watching the moonlight, enjoying the sweetness of life …
I deserve to be happy! I laugh freely! I share my joy!
I focus on what I want to do! I notice my own manifestations of joy!
Breathe and let joy in your life!
Coordinator of School for Parents