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Joy: It’s food for the soul

When we are talking about healthy foods to put in our body, joy is literally food for the soul. It really is one of the most powerful emotions that exists. When we are able to experience joy, our stress levels decrease and our body actually releases endorphins and serotonin, which is the happiness hormone. Happiness is one of the keys to living a life full of vitality.

When we find what brings us joy, when we find the things that make us smile, when we find the things that brighten our day, it can shift our entire life.

There are multiple ways to start cultivating that joy and bliss we have inside. As with everything, mindset and intention can play powerful roles in this, and hey, it may take a little bit of retraining that brain of ours, but the good news is it’s possible! The great news is that with the right determination, it can absolutely happen.

When searching for ways to bring more joy into our life there are so many places to begin.

  • For starters, think of the things that actually do bring you joy. Consider making a list. You can continuously add to this list but sometimes seeing things on paper can help bring in the awareness, and it can help to realize what you need more of.
  • Find more connection with others, whatever that may be. It could be engaging with more conversation, allowing more hugs into your life, laughing more. Making more time to be with the people you love. Connection, love, laughter and belonging are some of the best medicines that exist.
  • Be kind. Not only is this about being kind toward yourself; but exhibiting acts of kindness to others feels good. Giving to others feels good and you never know what could come back your way.
  • It may sound silly but, add some color to your life. Rather than putting on that black or that gray, wear color. Bring color into your home environment or some bright, fresh flowers – colors are powerful and can make you feel happy.
  • Get outside into the fresh air, the sunshine, nature. Just being outside has huge benefits for our mood.
  • Move your body. We often get locked in our heads when we think about having to get “exercise.” However, if we can change our mindset and simply allow ourselves to move our bodies, it can help to enhance mood, lower stress and can even help combat depression and anxiety.
  • Think back to your childhood – what did you do for fun? What were the things that you absolutely loved doing when no one was watching and there was no pressure?
  • What are you curious about? What are some of the things that really interest you in knowing more about? Fuel what inspires you.
  • If you could have a dream day to do anything you wanted to, what would it look like?
  • Be grateful. Sometimes just recognizing the good things you do have in your life can really emphasize all the reasons you should feel joyful.

Joy is inside all of us, and when we are stepping into true health, everything matters. It is not just about the food we put into our bodies; it is not just about physical exercise. We are multifaceted and we must nourish ourselves in every way. Joy is literally food for our soul, it is medicine. It is so important that we pay attention, and find the things that light us up inside.

Jennifer Roe is a master level Red Hat Qigong practitioner, an integrative nutritional health and wellness coach, a facilitator of women’s circles, programs and more. Her office is at Pura Vida in Durango. For more information, visit www. puravidahealthcare.com and/or www.thehealingroe.com.