Ma Bella Vita: How to find Joy again {when life throws you lemons}

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Friday, September 26, 2014

How to find Joy again {when life throws you lemons}

The other day while watching Oprah's Super Soul Sunday, the following quote came on the screen:

"Find a place inside where there is Joy, and the joy will burn out the pain". Joseph Campbell

I would be lying if I didn't admit to the fact that the past several weeks have been tough for me in a personal level. After coming back from a phenomenal summer in Washington D.C; and a nice vacation in Hawaii- a relationship that was very dear to me came to an end {once again}. I had the heart wrenching breakup talk and for weeks my world felt like it would crumble. If any of you have gone through a breakup you know the type of indescribable pain I am referring to. The tough part is that this was the same person with whom I was dealing at the beginning of the year. I wrote about the first breakup on this post.

We agreed to get back together only to call it quits again a few months later. I have heard somewhere that if something ends is good to let it go for good.  If something didn't work the first time around, what would make us assume that things would be different the next time? Obviously there are circumstances where people get back together and things are so phenomenal that they stay together for good. However, my personal experiences have made me conclude that those circumstances are the exception, not the norm. People rarely ever change. Hence, we have to accept people for exactly as they are or let them go.

Nonetheless, such is life my friends! No need to wallow in sorrow and self-pity for the rest of our lives. If there is one thing I have learned in my thirty years on this earth is that life is full of ups and downs and I remain an optimistic person whom looks forward to a phenomenal and amazing future. So, stay strong during the tough times and remember this: everything is temporary! The sun will shine again.

As I am finally recovering from that pain and I am on my way to the "other side", I want to share with you guys the top 10 things that have worked for me in bringing me back to joy:

1. Be around people that love you unconditionally: I must confess that I practically moved in to my parents house after things ended. I have my own place but it was kind of depressing to be home alone, specially during the evening hours. I had plenty of time to nourish my soul by having talks with my mom (whom was such a support system for me) and fed myself back to happiness while enjoying some homemade goodies and being around the people that I know love me no matter the circumstances. I also went on runs with my sister and made sure I kept in to contact with my best friends, whom also offered words of encouragement. Even if you live away from family or loved ones- make an effort to reach out to the people in your life that you know will always be there for you. Simple phone calls or a venting email can go a long way!

My sister and I after a 4 mile run/bike ride the other day

2. Get some exercise in to your life- Immediately: I must admit that the last thing you want to do when you feel miserable is put on your workout gear and move anywhere. However, I eventually talked myself in to hitting the gym. The endorphins that come from a nice run, a brisk walk, or even some quality time with the elliptical are phenomenal. Exercise and sweat can definitely be the best medicine. As that infamous instagram quote says: "I really regret that workout" -said no one, ever.

3. Make a conscious effort to eat good, clean food: Eating like crap will only make you feel good for about two seconds. Food is fuel and is amazing how it can be used to heal everything and anything, and that includes a sad mood. Eat for happiness! Some foods that have been proven to boost your mood include: Dark chocolate, salmon, walnuts, spinach, grilled chicken, avocado, Greek yogurt, green tea, berries!

4. Keep Busy: This is the time to excel at work and go above and beyond. Working can often be the best distraction. Even if you "hate" your job, it can be a blessing during tough times. Even if you are unemployed, this is the perfect time to give your all to that business idea that has been lingering in your head for ages. Take a leap of faith. They say the best business ideas on earth usually emerge during tough times. Check out this great article on the Entrepreneur website.  

5. Loose yourself in a favorite hobby: This may go hand in hand with the above. However if you have a hobby that you love be it outdoor running, bike riding, readings books or magazines, traveling, or anything in between, this may be the time to loose yourself in that. For me personally, there are a bunch of books I've been meaning to read and some overdue magazines that have been sitting in my apartment for months! Perfect time to catch up on the things I love.

6. Find your "Happy Places" and spend time there: What places bring you joy just because? Many of us have places where we love spending time. We may have no clue why we love  those places but they simply bring us joy. For me personally some of those places include: Barnes and Noble, the library, browsing around stores such as TJMax or Marshalls, my parents house. What places bring you joy?

7. Write out your goals for the future: There is no better feeling than to sit down with a pen and paper and write out exactly what you want for your future. You can go sit at a local Starbucks and write away! For some reason putting pen to paper in a journal feels "nicer" than typing it out on a computer. However, do whatever works for you! First list your plans for what you want everything from relationships to career plans. Then elaborate plans of action to make those things become a reality. If you want to take it to the next level, why not create a vision board with the things that you want for your future ?!(more on that coming soon).

8. Take a break, Focus on yourself again: I've decided to learn to love myself again , pamper myself, and be selfish. Its been a while since I've done that and this is the perfect time. This doesn't mean I cant meet new people and/or make new friends but I feel that is the perfect time for some "soul searching" and to start my path towards what I really want and what's really meant to be in my life. I encourage you to do the same!

9. Know in your heart that everything will be okay and amazing things are ahead: Never, ever, ever let anyone steal your joy or your expectations for a phenomenal future. Someone may have tried to steal your happiness temporarily but no one on this earth should have the right to strip you away from knowing that your future is bright and amazing. Don't give anyone that much power over you--ever!

10. Feel Gratitude for the things you have in your life: When things aren't going "perfect" we tend to forget that we have so much to be thankful for. For some reason humans have  a tendency to focus on the few things that are going wrong instead of focusing on the things that are going right---which is usually a much larger percentage. I am guilty of this myself but I am quickly changing my ways by realizing that God has been very good to me. It would be a shame for me to forget all the good things in my life (and everything I've been protected from! things happen for a reason)-- and the same goes for you, my friend!

Hope these tips help someone out there. If you have tips that have worked for you personally I would LOVE to hear them. Comment below or send me an email at :)

Thank you for reading <3

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