Cultivating Joy with Gratitude
Brene Brown (researcher) found that joy and gratitude were described as spiritual practices that were bound to a belief in human interconnectedness and a power greater than us. People interviewed described living a joyful life is attributed to their gratitude practice. To cultivate the spiritual practices that lead to joyfulness, especially gratitude. We have to look at things that get in the way. The Greek word for joy is Chairo, described as the “culmination of being” and the “good mood of the soul.” They say its opposite is not sadness, but fear.
Joy and gratitude can be very vulnerable and intense experiences. Many of us have very little tolerance for vulnerability. Our anxiety and fear can manifest as scarcity. Most of us experienced being on the edge of joy only to be overcome by vulnerability and thrown into fear. Until we can tolerate vulnerability and transform it into gratitude, intense feelings of love will often bring up the fear of loss. We’re afraid to lose what we love the most, and we hate that there are no guarantees. There is no guarantee: If we’re not practicing gratitude and allowing ourselves to know joy, we are missing out on the two things that will actually sustain us during the hard times.
We each have the choice to let go of the mind-set of scarcity. Once we let go of scarcity, we discover the surprising truth of sufficiency. Sufficiency is a knowing that there is enough and that we are enough. It is consciousness, an attention, an intentional choosing of the way we think about our circumstances. Joy is not constant and is often experienced in our ordinary moments. The practice of gratitude for the ordinary moments leads to a joyful life.
9 ways to cultivate joy with gratitude
- Acknowledge your worthiness
- Stop the comparison game
- Start a gratitude journal
- Write a thank you note
- Find a gratitude partner
- Tell somebody how much they mean to you
- Put a positive spin on your negative thoughts
- Feel your joy fully
Based on the books by Brene Brown Ph.D., LMSW: The Gifts of Imperfection (2010) and Daring Greatly (2015)
By: Raymond Castilleja Jr., LMSW, Behavioral Health Director