Restoring Joy

Zechariah Newman —  November 24, 2014 — 8 Comments

My emotions are so fickle sometimes. I wake up and everything is terrible. I frankly wallow in moments way too long, giving in to the drama in my mind. Everything becomes wrong and inadequate with thoughts like, “When God are you going to come through? When is my business going to come to new levels? When will all of my kids be potty trained?!” 🙂 It is simple when there is a constant tension on our lives from where we are and where we want to be to get dissatisfied and lose our joy. The first thing we must do when we feel like this is recognize that we lost it! After that it is easy to regain with a few practical steps.

sunsetty

Photo by: KCNewman Photography

When we are missing Joy, these 5 things will restore it to our lives.

1. List. To proactively shift our moods, we need to change our thoughts. Emotions will follow good thoughts. The other day I was really struggling with my mood and I did this simple exercise and my negative heart turned to one of gratitude and joy! Spend a simple five minutes to think about what you are grateful for, then write down everything you can think of. Look at your list and notice how blessed you are!

2. Prayer. A life focused on God will be one of joy. Pray to Him and ask Him to show you how you are blessed. Ask Him to open your eyes and He will be faithful. Then it is our job to look, keep vigilant with our eyes up, and our hearts ready. Talking and listening to God will realign our thoughts with His. Focus on the Creator and joy will return.

3. A close friend’s words. One of our jobs as believers is to prophesy into each others lives. If you don’t like that word, it is simply to call out the attributes that are godly into each other. We need each other to call out godly characteristics when we don’t see it ourselves. Rather than think of yourself, how can you encourage and speak into someone else this week? Your words may be the words someone needs to hear. You may encourage them to live a life more full or your encouragement may even save a life! Speak life!

4. Be present. One common thread happens when we are depressed and angry. We are either in the past or longing for the future. We need to live lives of focus and power and the only way to be that vibrant is to be present in the second. If you feel yourself getting anxious and worried, I assure you you are not living in the present. Realign with the here and now. You have a job to do today that only you can fulfill.

5. Go through the motions. We need to live a life of transparency, so I say this cautiously. Fake it until you make it. Go through the motions and your emotions will follow. Smiling, for example, can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, change your mood and boost your immunity. It can also be contagious. Be honest with your feelings, but you may need to go through the motions to feel more joyful.

When we are feeling negative, the bottom line is we need more gratefulness. That is one of the things I love about this time of year. Today and this week, let’s return joy and hope to the journey. Happy Thanksgiving and be blessed on your journey.

What are you thankful for?!
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  • When I’m feeling down or needing to be encouraged, All I need to do is to spend time with my wife. She really brings me joy and encourages me to take action on my dreams. God brings people into our life’s to help and encourage us! Great post!

    • So true Dan! My wife and others are a great source of encouragement for sure. Thanks for adding that.

  • Really enjoyed this post. Zech, you make some great points here – basically, that when you’re feeling down you have to “get outside” yourself to find a solution. My tendency is to think and worry about a problem and not take action to address it. I had a breakthrough moment a few years ago when I realized that I can’t “think” my way out of being in a funk; I had to “act” my way out of it — i.e. taking action and then trusting the “feelings” will follow. It’s an important lesson of leadership I’m still learning.

    • Thanks Kent;) I would like to say I masterd it;) such a crucial thing to take steps of faith before we feel it for sure!

  • I think there’s certainly power in going through the motions. Of course, we want our joy to be authentic and overflowing, but sometimes that’s not the case. It’s not a viable strategy to wallow and do nothing until we feel like it. We move forward. We pray. We read scripture. We fight for joy. We do what we can, and pray that God will do what he must.

    • Yes for sure Loren. I ponderd weather to put that in there at the risk of people applying masks to there life. The truth is sometimes action comes first though. Thanks for your great addition in the discussion. Blessings;)

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