Hello Natural Health Family! It is a new week and time for another discussion. I imagine everyone was able to enjoy their weekends in some form or fashion. It is that time of the year again when weddings are in abundance. The past weekend I was able to be in a wedding and was able to enjoy festivities with friends and family. Let’s talk about the importance of having joy in our lives. Have you ever thought about the last time that you had to prepare yourself to do something such as giving a speech to a crowd of people or telling someone something that you thought might not be received well? What did it make you feel like? Did you start to have sweaty palms or heavy breathing? Did your heart start to beat faster or you felt like running or not moving? This is because when we think about certain things our bodies react in response to the thoughts that we may be having at the time. This is due to a survival strategy that we adopted to keep us alive back in the day. It helped us gear up when we were getting chased by larger predators like lions and tigers. This response was crucial to our survival in the past but now has become maladaptive. When we are stuck in this state for a long duration then we start to lose energy needed for us to carry out functions to keep our bodies in proper balance. This may lead to eventual health issues if not addressed or changed. 

So what does joy have to do with this? Joy is seen as an emotion that helps our bodies and minds be able to come to balance. Think for a moment about a time in the past that you really enjoyed. Perhaps it was with a group of friends or a family gathering. You might have been dancing, singing, playing games, laughing, etc. You probably felt more relaxed and able to take your mind off of the many different things that you otherwise think about. This helps our brain and bodies reach a state of balance which further promotes health and healing. This is why finding time to do things that you like to do such as walks, sports, reading, etc, can be important during the week. Then if you are able to take vacations with others that can also be helpful. Joy does not always have to come from the big events or occasions that we plan for but can be practiced during the small moments we have during the day.

Of course there are many things going on that can feel overwhelming. That is why it is helpful to look for things that we can enjoy even when it may be something that we are not familiar with. Something as little as waving to a stranger, saying hi to the neighbors or making sure to be present with a family member can help bring joy to someone’s day. This week I encourage you to find some time to create joy in your life or someone else’s. 

Dr. Chip