How To Choose Joy When Life Makes It Hard

Never let it be said that “life is easy.” 

No matter who you are or how much money you have, everyone deals with some kind of personal struggle, each in their own unique way. Some of us are lucky and get to go though life with struggles that would be considered minor, while others have excruciatingly painful ones. It’s not fair and it’s really the luck of the draw, but keep reading if you want to learn how to choose joy during the difficult times in your life.

Personal struggles can be anything from losing your job to dealing with depression and loneliness. There’s no limit on what could be considered a struggle. Anything that makes your life more difficult in a negative manner would qualify. 

Maybe you’re feeling exhausted, both mentally and physically, from the last few years and all of the uncertainty and change that came with them. Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed and struggling to meet the constant demands on your time. Maybe you’re finding it difficult to connect with the things that once added joy and meaning to your life. If you relate to one or more of those statements, certified positive psychology practitioner Sophie Cliff is here to help.

Although it can be difficult to view the glass half full at times, her book Choose Joy, gives you the best tips on how to try.

Choose Joy by Sophie Cliff

Before giving you advice on what positive steps you can take, Cliff first dives deep into the emotions that come along with the struggles of life. One particular situation she points out is “fear of success,” while explaining that subconsciously, many of us may have this fear and not know it. Oftentimes, consciously, we fear failure. 

Here is the excerpt from the book:

To understand why we might fear success, we need to understand humanity’s desire to fit in and belong. As we discussed in Chapter Two, our psyches are hardwired to want to belong to part of a pack. We all have an urge to feel part of a collective, and sometimes that urge can impact how we show up.

So, what does any of this have to do with success? If deep down you worry that achieving all of your goals will risk your role in your pack or community, your subconscious will do everything it can to prevent that success. And while we might have been sold the narrative that it’s the most successful people who are the most popular, reality often differs. Maybe you grew up in a town where people with big dreams were gossiped about (the “Who does she think she is?” mentality) and you’re worried about being the victim of everyone’s bitching sessions. Maybe you worry that if you move to a new location, you’ll be forgotten about by your group of friends. Maybe you fear that if you find a job you actually enjoy, you’ll lose touch with the working-class identity that shaped your formative years.

Whatever your worry, if there’s even the slightest inkling that making the change will cost you socially, you’re likely to encounter some resistance. 

She then goes into how you can counteract this fear by implementing certain routines in your life. 

Choose Joy‘s research, insights, and exercises will help you:

  • Reduce stress and change how you react to it (because busy schedules will never go away)
  • Uncover what really matters to you, not what your family or society tells you should matter
  • Identify your core values and develop a new approach to achieving your goals
  • Boost your self-confidence and realize that you’re worthy of all the joy you’ve been dreaming about

Research tells us that joy has a whole host of health benefits. Using the tools in this book, you can now start taking the necessary daily steps toward building a life that fulfills you rather than one that depletes you!

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