By Maureen DeGarmo

Recently, I was driving down a street near my home, when I spotted a young woman with bright red hair, who was wearing a matching shirt. She was listening to some music, and skipping to the sound. Skipping! “When was the last time you skipped to the music?” I asked myself. Joy seemed to ooze out of this woman.

Joy is different than happiness. Happiness is an overall feeling of well-being or contentment, whereas joy is a spark. Joy is something we can experience to offset the more difficult moments of our life, and is especially important when you have a Traumatic Illness. You can learn to feel joy alongside your illness. It won’t remove your symptoms, but it can lighten you, and it can brighten your day. Here are some ways to experience joy.

  • Go to the park and watch children play
  • Write a letter to an old friend
  • Listen to upbeat music
  • Learn something new
  • Do someone a favor
  • Play with a puppy or kitten
  • Watch kitten or puppy videos online
  • Drive to the top of a hill at sunset
  • Take a walk beside a body of water or though trees
  • Rent a movie that makes you laugh out loud
  • Open your windows and let in some fresh air
  • Eat your lunch in your backyard and listen to the birds chirp

What are some things that you do to lighten your day and distract your mind from your illness? We would love to hear from you. Click “Leave a Reply,” and share your thoughts.





7 thoughts on “Joy

  1. TheSeanaMethod says:

    It is so hard to stay upbeat when you are ill. Hope is so important, but when you don’t feel well, it is very depressing. Sometimes just having a low-energy hobby, like knitting or needlepoint, can help too.


  2. Sarah Soboleski says:

    Having positive coping skills is so important when you’re facing a physical or mental illness. The examples you provided are helpful. I think spending time with family and friends is so important and can bring joy.


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