The Joyful Living Blog

find-joy-in-nature

Find Joy in Nature – Why You Should Spend More Time Outside

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I believe that this earth was created by a loving and joyous God who wants us, his ultimate creation of joy, to be able to enjoy our experience here; to find joy in nature. He made it beautiful no matter where you are. All you have to do is take the time to step out and notice. As you do so, you will feel His love and caring for you, and you will learn what you are meant to know about yourself, and your place and purpose here on this earth. Plus, your body needs to spend time outside: While…

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Music Makes You Smarter, Happier and More Productive

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Music affects the human brain in many positive ways. In fact, recent research into brain structure and function shows that music makes you smarter, happier, and more productive – at any age. Listening to music is good for you; playing music is even better. “Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.” – Martin Luther If laughter really is the best medicine, then perhaps music is the best therapy for a troubled soul. As I explain in my…

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Laughter Really is the Best Medicine: For Physical, Mental, and Social Health

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Remember, you are joy. You are not guilt, trouble, despair, pain, or frustration. On the other hand, laughter helps reduce conflict and confusion in life, overcoming those negative emotions, and brings great joy. You’ve heard the title phrase before, “Laughter is the best medicine.” It’s become a cliché – but only because it’s true. Multiple studies and research have shown that laughter can boost your immune system, decrease physical pain, lower stress hormones, relax your muscles, and improve the function and blood flow of your vessels to help prevent heart disease. It can ease anxiety and fear, improve your mood,…

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Kindness and Joy: Searching for the Missing Link

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When watching television or movies today, and even when listening to contemporary music, the same question repeats itself in my mind: Whatever happened to kindness? Our politicians are hateful to each other, as are those whose job it is to report on them. Sitcom housewives belittle their husbands as a way to “entertain” us, while movie “comedies” do nothing but make fun of others, often at the expense of those who are less fortunate. The music world is filed with hateful, racial attacks, and even their awards show is being hailed for “finally” coming up with a high-value category with…

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Keeping a Journal: Why You Should Record Your Ride Through Life

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One of the more frustrating aspects of parenthood is the realization that your kids are usually resistant to learning from your life experiences. No matter how many times you may say to them, “Been there. Done that. Here’s what I learned,” they continue to think you could never understand what they’re experiencing and feeling. Keeping a journal can help with this. Then again, we have all been guilty of ignoring our own lessons learned, haven’t we? I’m sure that, like me, you’ve thought to yourself, “When will I learn NOT to do that, again?” Or, “When will I learn NOT…

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Imagination and Joy – Imagine It Until You Live It!

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“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain Imagine… Being productive at a job you love. Are you able to visualize that job? Can you conceive of what it might be? Does it help others to live a better life? Will it provide for you and your family? Would you continue to enjoy it, year after year? Imagine… Loving your perfect mate. Can you define the values that you share with your partner? Does being there for another, in good times and bad, feel right to you? Would you be able to love him or her, year after…

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health-and-wellness

Health and Wellness – Be Joyful in Your Body

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Living in pain should not be the default state for you and your body, though many seem to believe that’s the case – especially as we age. I’m here to tell you though, and this is based on personal experience, that does NOT have to be true for you. When you focus on health and wellness for yourself, it really is possible to be joyful in your body. Our bodies are a gift to enjoy, to move in, to grow in, to strengthen, to love, and to protect. Not to feel trapped in or burdened by. If you don’t take…

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Gratitude and Thankfulness – The Formula for Happiness

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“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” – Alphonse Karr Much like forgiveness, gratitude can be a tricky beast to corral. And yet, all the great thinkers and writers extol the power of gratitude and thankfulness for leading a better, more joyful life. In my mind, it’s very simple… That to which you give energy, grows. So, do you want to grow lack or abundance in your life? In other words, gratitude attracts abundance (just as abundance should lead to gratitude). Whether you’re grateful for the wonderful people in your life or the…

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Choose Forgiveness Over Resentment and Anger

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People can hurt each other in many ways; from the trivial to the significant, from the annoying to the terrible, from the irritating to the life-changing. Regardless of the nature of the hurt, and the level of pain it causes, feeling anger and resentment tend to extend the life of that pain. When you choose forgiveness, you begin to end that pain. Consider this… Whatever happened, happened just as it did happen and, although you can’t change what happened, you can choose how you will happen to it. How you choose to happen to something also involves how you think…

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Education and Learning – Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?

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This chapter might as easily have been named “Learning,” for it’s the idea of education and learning that should never end which has value – if you hope to live a truly joyful life. In fact, life itself is a grad school of invaluable proportion, with daily lessons to appreciate and contemplate. As I explain in my book, The ABCs of Joyful Living, you are getting a great education every day, simply by living. Life itself is one of the greatest teachers. All the books we read, classes we attend, professors we listen to, documentaries we watch, and various degrees…

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