“Joy is a form of resilience.” I will repeat, “Joy is a form of resilience.“
Many consider joy as this frivolous emotion. One can even say that it is unimportant and should not be given a time of the day. But is it really?
Joy Vs Happiness
As a culture, we have been obsessed in pursuing happiness. (Happiness comes from the inside but that is another matter to talk about)
But actually, what we should do is pursue joy.
Happiness is an emotion pertaining to that you feel over a long period of time. So, for example, let’s say, I’m a student and when I say, “I’m happy right now.” What that means is that I feel happy about yesterday and the days before that. It doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t awful moments but over time, I feel good overall about what happened.
On the other hand, joy pertains to right now. It’s the feeling when you want to jump up and down or giggle or laugh because of a joke. And this is why pursuing joy is much more important that pursuing happiness. Because joy is what’s happening around us every time. Writing this blog makes me feel joy. And in retrospect, when all of these joyful moment add up, I can say that I am happy with how I live. So maybe, we are only happy in retrospect. Hence, it is why pursuing joy is more important that pursuing happiness
Why is Joy Important?
Going back to my first sentence, “Joy is a form of resilience.” is from designer and author Ingrid Fetell Lee.
And she explained why in a blog post. First off, she wrote that we tend off to put off joy. For example, “Oh! I will work full head-on for 9 hours and then I’ll watch a movie.” We see joy as a reward for our hardwork.
But actually, Lee suggests that we should incorporate joy into our daily lives. Basically, joy is a tool that we can use to cope up with stress.
She explained further, “Small moments of joy help the cardiovascular system recover from stress. When we feel stressed, our bodies floor with chemicals like cortisol and epinephrine which raise our heart rate and blood pressure, keep us alert and focused, and help us respond to the challenges at hand. This is an adaptive response to stress, and it works well when it’s temporary. If stress becomes chronic, on the other hand, this places strain on the body and can lead to exhaustion and illness. But when we experience joy, such as watching something funny, taking a little while to become absorbed in play, or spending time in nature, it gives our bodies a break from this stress response, enabling us to recover.“
Thus, joy is not frivolous. It’s actually important for our body, especially our mental health.
Small Moments of Joy
Knowing this information, I had to apply it. Assignments and academic readings are piling up but I’m ‘stealing ‘ some time just to be.
I acknowledge that I am more than my academics. And the life that I want to live is not something that is in the direction of academics, hence, I go my own path.
One thing that I do and probably my most favorite apart from writing is soaking energy from the sun.
Around 3 pm- 4pm, I get up, after being huddled for hours on my desk, and go in our porch.
Without having to go outside, the sun direction is right there at the gate and that is where I can get energy from the sun.
Honestly, one of the highlights of my day. And I am reminded of what Andy Grammer wrote in his song Keep Your Head Up:
The glow that the sun gets
Right around sunset
Helps me realize
That this is just a journey
Drop your worries
You are gonna turn out fine.
Oh, you turn out fine.
Fine, oh, you turn out fine.
Whether I failed during the day or experienced something terrible, the sun’s gonna be there. Always. And its gonna be there until I die. Whatever I am worrying about it is gonna be fine. It will pass. Other things that I do during the day to feel joy is listening to my favorite music, showering after a long day, watching korean variety shows, and reading a great book that will keep me immersed for hours. And not to mention, there are tons of other things that unexpectedly show up during my day that brought me joy. Like a few days ago, I discovered a website that has a very interesting UI on its homepage, and just the other day, I finally owned a copy of a book that I’ve been waiting for MONTHSS!!!
Basically, pursuing joy is me telling myself that I will not succumb to being a machine and taking care of myself. In addition, joyful things that unexpectedly came my way are a reminder that life is full of miracles and casual magics. I also believe that what I put out in the world, that is what I get back. And these miracles are what I get back.