Having a tough week? Job stress, no time to exercise or perhaps you had a run in with a loved one? Maybe your favorite celeb didn’t win on “Dancing with the Stars”.

So many things can happen in the course of a day that can steal my joy, if I allow them to. This week has been particularly challenging. Without going into the gory details, let’s just say I felt like everything was coming at me at once. “It looks like it’s going to be another one of those days” I remember saying to myself on monday. Well, tuesday and wednesday have had their challenges as well.

But, I’m still smiling. Yesterday, I went for a massage and relaxed. Today, I took a walk at lunch and enjoyed the chirping of the birds outside as I took a different route. Later in the afternoon, I turned on the radio for a bit, and one of my favorite songs came on – “Love you like a love song” by Selena Gomez. I started dancing around my living room right smack in the middle of the day!

Sometimes just stepping away from it all helps break the pattern of stress. Taking a walk, listening to music, making a nice dinner; all these help me keep my joy.

I also talk to myself. I remind myself of the truths I believe in. “Lord, you are in control of everything in my life. This might not look like a good thing to me, but I know you can work it out for my good. I will take responsibility for my decisions and actions. I will trust you and be glad today.” I will forget what happened at work this afternoon, what happened on monday, and I will live in the present moment. I will enjoy taking a warm shower and sitting out on my balcony with my cup of hot tea.

Joy is an indispensable commodity, as far as I’m concerned. Life just isn’t worth living if I can’t be joyful most of the time. Yes, we are all going through difficult situations and I’m not minimizing what some of you are going through right now. But, I have learned that the tough stuff will keep on coming. It is up to me to decide how each situation will affect me and how I will respond to it. The quicker I can let go of unhappy, negative thoughts, the more I can enjoy my life.

How about you? Is there something you are dwelling on that is making you miserable? Can you step outside of your situation and believe that perhaps there may be a silver lining to it in the long run? I can almost guarantee that there is.

Don’t let life steal your joy. Make a decision to be happy and enjoy each day for the gift it is. That’s why they call it “the present”. Until next time, keep smiling and keep looking up!

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