HI ! Barbara Cookson here with the happy Healthy Being blog Word Of the Week! This week's word is JOY. The dictionary defines Joy as  a "feeling of great pleasure and happiness." You know, I've been thinking, a lot of us just don't have enough Joy in our days and it's time to do something about it.   I've been feeling extra joy myself because here in Maine, we had a VERY LONG COLD winter and now the weather is absolutely perfect!  I'm making it a priority to get outside for at least a half an hour during the work day to soak it up.  How can you not feel joyous being outdoors on these beautiful days? THe sun, the birds, the breeze? It's good for the soul to get outside and just breathe. It's also super healthy to get that little dose of Vitamin D on a daily basis if you can. I know a lot of you feel trapped during the day, at work, or even at home, but I bet if you just decided to take 10 minutes today to stop what your doing go  outside and just look around, you'd feel better almost instantly. Try to find a little patch of grass and get barefoot. If you're in the city and you're' escaping work for just a few minutes and there's no grass, go outside and just look up! there's either going to be some blue sky or clouds, and both are beautiful. Even the rain is beautiful this time of year. Just listen to it! The sounds and smells and feel of the sun are a great way to make you feel grounded and joyful. Being joyful is a choice.  You CAN make the decision to find joy in your daily activities, no matter how mundane they are. Chuck Palahniuk says: "Find Joy in everything you choose to do, Every job, relationship, home....it's your responsibility to love it or change it."  Your responsibility! I love that! If you're feeling less than joyful, here's an exercise that may help you turn it around.  Take a minute, get comfortable, and close your eyes. Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, and just listen.  tune in. whatever sounds you may hear, just focus on it.  this just gives you a chance to quiet those inner voices that we all have talking to us all the time. You know the ones im talkkinng about, the ones tthat say stuff like "this is a stupid exercise. what a pollyanna, tellinng me to find joy." but focusing slows us down and allows us to be fully present and aware of our surroundings.  Now finding the joy is up to you. Make a conscious decision to feel it. If you just can't, MAKE SOMETHING UP!  hear the sounds and make up a happy story. once upon a time ........ fill in the blanks. I know it sounds silly, but try it. You'll be amazed how much control you really have over your choice to have more joy.  Here's a great piece of advice:  Your success and happiness lies in you.  Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties."  -Helen Keller

now if ever there were someone with a reason to not be joyful, it's her. If you like this video, please share it with your friends and family and leave me a comment to let me know how you're going to add some joy in your day. Hit the subscribe button -and I can let you know when I'm posting more thoughts. Be happy, be healthy, and remember, you ARE who you choose to be!

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