6 Reasons Why You Have to Choose Joy Right Now

The benefits of choosing Joy can make a huge impact on your life

If you are a survivor of trauma, you could very easily walk around seeing everything as a potential threat, trigger, or red flag, that keeps you from enjoying life. That was my story during my recovery for seven years, perhaps most of us in this country for the last four years (no matter who you voted for), and for all of us through the pandemic this past year.

In 2013, my dad died suddenly in his sleep. Three months later, my partner of 15 years sprung on me that he wanted a divorce. Within three months, I lost my dad, husband, home, any sense of safety, and any type of trust in men, the universe, and myself. It also came with years of past childhood traumas of abandonment that resurfaced. My health rapidly declined and after a nervous breakthrough I had the very fortunate choice to begin my recovery in Costa Rica. During that time, I did a lot inner work and faced my demons in paradise. After nine months, I came back ready to start my new life. There were still a lot of obstacles to overcome that kept me from enjoying life; I went through tumultuous relationships that constantly triggered me, I had mysterious symptoms that wouldn’t go away that kept me feeling trapped in my body, all while I decided to build my own business that tested my belief in myself. Thankfully, I had tons of healthy resources to aid in my recovery; I had therapy once a week, practiced yoga & self-care (and taught it) daily, and went to numerous healers of different modalities. With all of that, I still didn’t find myself really enjoying life until I finally made the conscious choice to Move with Joy.

What I came to realize through my healing journey, is that feeling joyful is a constant choice. At first, it can take work to remember it’s an option, especially on those really crappy days. But Joy is humming right below the surface, so when the choice is made, Joy finds you and joins you instantly! And the more you choose Joy, the easier it is to feel good about the changes being made and attract more of what you want in your life.

So why wait?

Here are 6 Reasons why you need to choose Joy right now:

1. Joy improves your physical health. Your body knows if you are not happy and it is a direct reflection of the choices you make. You feel crappy, you make a choice to reach for that crappy processed food or booze, then your body responds with a headache, stomachache, pimple… and then the cycle continues. It’s that simple.

· Tip: Choose to eat/drink something that you enjoy and savor it. Instead of mindlessly eating ice cream out of a container in front of freezer, try preaparing a cup of warm cocoa; sit with it, feel the warmth of the cup in your hands, smell the aroma, take small sips to savor it, wake up your whole body through your senses and let Joy dance within!

2. Joy elevates your energetic health. If you wake up and your first thought is of dread, guess what your day will feel like?

· Tip: Tomorrow when you wake up, take a few deep breaths with a smile, or better yet, move around to an uplifting song like The Beatles, “Here Comes the Sun” Observe how you feel different from the morning of dread.

3. Joy helps your mental health. Carrying on negative thoughts keeps you in the hamster wheel of negativity which makes it hard to see any possible positive outcome.

· Tip. Turn the tables just for fun to see what it could look like on the other side with Joy helping you out. Imagine for a minute there are no obstacles in your way. Try a vision board or writing a story about what it could look like. You might just trick yourself into believing it to be true!

4. Joy uplifts your emotional health. Feelings are stored in your body if you don’t give them expression which can also lead to unwanted symptoms, or worse, dis-ease. When you take time to express emotions (even the negative ones) in a healthy way, you will often find yourself back at Joy, even if only from the pure Joy of releasing what is no longer needed.

· Tip. Next time you feel an unwanted emotion, name it & give it expression. If you feel angry, put on an angry song, dance around, sing, and scream if that makes you feel good. When the song is done, be still and notice what feels different after letting it go.

5. Joy supports your spiritual health. When any of the above runs amuck, you can feel generally out of alignment and not supported by Spirit, God, Universe (whatever you believe in.) When you are aligned with Joy, you are in the flow with life!

· Tip. When you are feeling off, repeat the mantra, Move with Joy or I Choose Joy & Joy Chooses Me or anything that reminds you that you are supported and repeat any of the above tips with the mantra to embrace your bond with Joy!

6. Joy raises our collective vibration. We are all connected. When you forget this, you are not only closing yourself off from Joy but from experiencing it with anyone around you.

· Tip. When things feel off in your inner world, take a moment to try any of the tips above (or tap into your own!) to choose Joy. Notice how your interactions immediately change with others around you. You may even see them smile at you more too!

Something important to note, the choice to choose Joy isn’t a way to avoid the hard parts of life, especially the necessary work to recover from trauma. Choosing Joy comes with all of it. Joy is your friend holding your hand through those hard times, she is always there, ready to crack a joke and lighten the mood.

When I was just doing the inner work, it became just that, work. Often times I forgot why the hell I was doing it at all. Since I have made a conscious choice to choose Joy, I have not looked back. Well, actually I have, and I discovered that Joy was actually there the whole time waiting for me to play in the muck and the mud. So now that you know this too, you get to choose Joy right now. Run with Joy, dance with Joy, have fun with Joy! Just make the choice and see what happens.

Phoebe Leona is an author, teacher, dancer, and curator of nOMad Press with a mission to empower people to embody their lives. https://bit.ly/RadiantStoryteller