How to Practice Joy in the Midst of Chaos

Over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to manage my own stress (upcoming article coming soon!) breathing technics, the best yoga positions to ease anxiety, and a few self-help reads here and there. Yet in the midst of certain chaotic moments, i.e. those moments that feel soul-sucking and so overwhelming that the only cure seems to be a full pint of Ben & Jerry’s or a trip to the best local donut shop to buy a full dozen of pure sugar and carbs — I lose all that knowledge and basically go into panic mode. BUT I don’t have to get to that point, and neither do you.

I’ve always struggled with anxiety, but after one of the hardest years of my life, this year is a year of taking full control, listening to my mind and body AND making choices that promote self-care rather than people pleasing.

So, here we go, a few simple things you can do when you’ve entered into chaos, but still want to embrace all the joy (trust me, it’s there waiting to give you a big bear hug) AND ease the anxiety that likes to creep its little way back into your life. The anxiety is small compared to the JOY that awaits.

Number 1. Go drink some water, tea or coffee.

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This might sound super duper simple, but that’s only because it is. Joy starts with recognizing the simple things in your life that are oh so tangible and always present to partake in. Taking a second to nourish your body with something hydrating or just plain delicious like your favorite tea or coffee, gives you the minutes to remember a few good things your thankful for — which brings me to…

Number 2. Name at least 3 things you’re grateful for.

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Try to stick with simplicity on this one as well, naming things that bring a smile to your face because life likes to surprise you with good things — finding that incredible parking spot at the store, because you know you forgot to buy groceries last week and parking close means you can fill up that cart and not have to walk super far to the car. Maybe its that sweet hug your best friend gave you just because they love you and want you to have joy filled day. OR maybe it’s the sunshine on your face as you go on your morning walk to take the dog out. Whatever those three things are, remember them throughout the day, and even better write the down in a journal as positive take aways from that day.

Magic Number 3. Take some time to RELAX.

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This one is definitely easier said than done, especially if you struggle with anxiety like me. I've found that a good book or better yet a good movie to watch or go see is a great way to take some time to just relax. Other options are: taking a bath, going for a walk (recommend this only if the weather permits and is comfortable outside), sleep, getting a facial (even if it’s just a diy one at home), and coloring/drawing/writing your thoughts out. Giving yourself some time to just breath and refocus, to better align both mind and body towards embracing joy.

Now, I say all of this not to forget that some days are super tough and just remembering to breathe can be difficult. BUT you got this, joy is always there waiting to give you some love ESPECIALLY on those difficult days. Don’t give up and continue to take time for yourself — to heal, rest, and grow. Remind yourself that you can get through it, AND that true JOY runs deep to your roots.

xo Joni Marie