The Importance of finding your joy and its positive impact on Mental Health and Wellbeing.
When the mind becomes overloaded it fails to function in its intended natural way - rational, calm, positive and consistent in its behaviour. When we become overwhelmed either at work or within our busy modern lives, the mind can unfortunately start to malfunction.
With simply too much information overloading its organic processes on a daily, weekly, or even yearly basis eventually a once well performing mind will gradually begin to shut down. It seems obvious to me that within today’s society we are bombarded with far too much information. There are too many do lists, never ending responsibilities, and so many places to be. With the constant pressures to uphold our personal and professional reputations, to be pros at achieving and multitasking, to have a grip on our finances, on our children’s homework, as well as our intimate relationships and our household chores my thinking is that over the decades we have strayed too far from our natural instincts and basic human behaviours.
Unlike animals, as a species we can suffer regularly from an array of mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety, panic, rage, low mood, exhaustion and fatigue. Common conditions that can dramatically affect our long-term quality of life. Animals tend not to experience such responses unless it has in fact been caused by the behaviour of a human or when under threat by a predator. The reason for this is that animals engage regularly in basic self-care. They rest when they are tired, eat when they are hungry, are present in their activities and embrace joy at every given opportunity - even dolphins have been proven (by none other than Sir David Attenborough) to surf waves purely just for the pleasure.
Life for humans has become challenging, the complexities of modern day living and addiction to social media causes us to compare our lives to others, to over perform, to chase the next high and to push our bodies and our minds to their absolute limits of performance. Money and availability of material possessions causes us to work harder, to perform better and to forever want more. Where the problem lies, is in the cost, not to our bank accounts but to our ability to live a happy, balanced and contented life.
When we over perform we lose the ability to be creative, we miss key pieces of pleasure and in one mad rush life passes us by. Being eternally busy causes us to neglect what most of us spend our lives trying to chase – time. The time that we can rest, really let go, have a well-earned break, retire and finally fulfil all of our lifelong dreams. The trouble is that at any given time our ‘time’ can come to an end. One of the most common regrets when people come to the end of their lives is that they didn’t embrace joy and they didn’t value their time.
By factoring joy back into your life, daily joy, whatever that may mean for you, you can open up a world of inspiration and wonder. The experience of regular joy brings about a quiet mind and it is that calm that we can begin to cope under the pressures of modern day ‘busy’. When we overload our minds we begin to catastrophize, internalise, worry, overanalyse and overthink, but when we create space in our minds by investing time in joyful experiences, the mind becomes a hive of creativity, intuition, productivity and positive thought processes.
It appears that we can in fact learn a lot from the simple life of the dolphin, from its high levels of emotional intelligence, physical capability, performance and natural intuition. None of which came about from its organisation of to do lists, extra hours at work and never ending emails but from its natural ability to simply let go and decide that it feels really good to try learn to surf.