From Cadbury to Jude Law everyone wants JOY. It’s today’s advertising ‘buzzword’. It ‘drives us further’, we undercover it, ‘it satisfies’. Sex is out and JOY is in. The search for JOY is on. But what is JOY? Why does everyone want it? And how do we get, feel, and keep it.
A name like JOY, almost demands a responsibly to be JOYful, (not such a great name when I’m really not in the mood). Let me preface this post by saying, I am far from the most joyous person on the planet and have off days just like every other human being but from a young age I’ve had people say to me,”‘you are your namesake”. I always thought, “oh yeh, I guess I’m a happy person” but haven’t really given it much thought. Today, I did.
Given this involuntary responsibility thrown my way (Thanks Mum and Dad) I thought I’d research why JOY at the core of so many campaigns at the moment. Why now, are people desiring this more than before? How do we find fundamental JOY within our own lives? Hopefully, through all of this I can recognise if I really am my namesake and how I can help others find their own JOY – without drinking a whole bottle of Johnnie Walker (although if Jude says so…).
A few definitions to kick this off; JOY is defined as ‘a feeling of great pleasure‘ – alluding to happiness in it’s deepest form, an emotion that appears to exude distinguishable energy. ENERGY being the ‘strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity’.
Yesterday I went to Business Chicks ‘9toThrive‘, listening to, and learning from some incredibly inspiring women, Dr Libby Weaver – a stand out, defining energy as ultimate measure for wellbeing. Her book ‘Exhausted to Energised’ simplifies the complex cycle our, some 50 trillion, cells go through, a stupid amount of times, per second to generate energy.
Put simply; we feel energised by giving our body what it needs to go through that process; the key aspect is providing nutrient dense food for vitamins and minerals to extract energy from carbohydrates, fats and protein (and alcohol shhh). If our body lacks this – energy isn’t able to be generated; we feel tired, we’ve got a shorter fuse and simply go about our day with no spark.
On the other hand, the better we eat, more we move = more energy, the better we feel and the happier we are.
Hard to do, but there are small changes to our mindset that can make us kick arse everyday.
Dr Libby writes ‘JOY gives us an irreplaceable energy‘, and found that when people were dying (slightly morbid but it will happen) they said they would miss ‘the little things, in the ordinary’.
Creating a space I love, picking or buying flowers, taking a moment to feel the wind on my face, waking up with the sun, presenting food beautifully on a plate and eating that food with great friends- those things give me mental and physical energy that sustains and spurs me on. I started this blog four years ago, originally titled ‘The Little Things’ – trying to see the upside and learn from all things- no matter how shitty the circumstance, at times, it’s bloody hard work but the ultimate goal.
We are craving JOY because we’re consuming foods that physiologically cannot be broken down by our bodies to give us the nutrients to drive the energy process, so have no energy, living such a fast paced life our heart is about to beat out of our chest and walk around with our heads down (sometimes smashing into people, or street poles -we’ve all been there) scrolling the screen for seeking energy externally and ultimately denying ourselves long lasting pleasure. Energy and JOY comes from the smallest choices we make – each and everyday.
Are you happy? Are you full of energy? Are you JOYFUL? And, if you answer no to any of those questions, my challenge to you is cut the bullshit and sub-in one thing everyday that makes you truly feel good (examples; waking up early to give you time to sit and enjoy your breakfast, see the sunrise, eat one less slice of cake, go to bed early, turn a negative into a positive). Check in with your body and your surroundings.. ‘feel the great sense of pleasure?’ that is JOY- spread it.