How Do We Stop That Downward Spiral and Find Joy in The Journey?

Do you ever wonder how you’re supposed to find joy through trials?

Life has its ups and downs, but sometimes challenging events occur all at once. It feels like our world is turned upside down, and we know something is missing.

Our challenges take the form of health problems, losses, breakups, natural disaster, finical struggles, or even losing our purpose. These are all severe stressors and traumatic events.

Most adults will experience many of these during a lifetime. And we do not like hearing that these struggles are a part of life. We may even ask why me????

It can be so easy to just stay in this state and wallow in self-pity. The more we practice self-pity the stronger it gets. Even when it feels like we deserve it or that we can’t get out by ourselves there is a way to turn that around and find joy.

It is a matter of a choice.

Do I practice the negative voice in my head or do I practice looking for the good?

We may not be able to change our circumstances at the moment, yet we can change our perception of the situation. In time that can cause the change we are looking for.

Looking for the Good

All things happen for a reason. Everything in life is for our benefit in one way or another. It is to bring us joy or to teach us what we need to learn. Do we need to go a different direction or upgrade what we are doing? Look for what you should learn.

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Looking for the good frees our brain so that we are more open to inspiration. When we allow self-pity, it drags the brain into a downward spiral. It’s okay if we take a few moments to grieve in our struggles, but staying there does not bring joy nor progress. Look for the lesson by looking for the good.

Read more about negative thinking.

Physical activity

This may seem a little counterintuitive yet in reality it increases the neurotransmitters, such as dopamine’s, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins. Physical activity can increase the joy we feel. The effects of neurotransmitters on the body can relax your muscles and speed up your heart rate with the outcome of feeing connected and in control; thus, increasing the feelings of joy as well as the immune system and all other bodily functions.

Pace Yourself

When we are feeling overwhelmed, the worst decision is to live a rushed life; which often causes the spiral, lack of control and we begin swinging between extremes. We need to take time to grieve or to just take a big deep breath. Remember how beautiful the world is around us and gain back control.

When we are rushing:

  1. Our energy lags
  2. Panic increases.
  3. Fatigue increases.
  4. Our blood pressure increases.
  5. We have little or no awareness of our body and lack control.
  6. Our ability to notice what is going on around us is impaired.
  7. Anger increases.

Having too many things to do or worry about just stops progress.

Another way to calm the overwhelm is to try the following:

Breathing Exercises

Take a deep breath and focusing on what you can control with each inhale and exhale you feel more at ease.

Take Breaks

Do something that you enjoy. Do you have a hobby? Or just sit in a quiet space?

Taking control of yourself by deep breathing this will allow you to have more energy and focus to find what is causing you to be overwhelmed. Then if needed, cut some things out, delegate, or let it go, you can even save some projects or dreams for a different season of life.

Don’t leave them to long.

Divide and conquer.

Remember that we alone are responsible for our progress. There is not a remote control. We have to get up and change channels ourselves. Once we start moving the universe starts to move for and with us.

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  1. So many great nuggets here! I’ve been more intentional about breathing lately and it really does release stress and helps me center, focus and feel at peace.

    Thank you for such a thoughtful article, we really can choose how we experience life and challenges. I heard a message recently and love the concept that – pain and suffering is inevitable but misery is optional.

    As I work with my executive coaching clients many are really looking to find joy in the journey and so much of that is what you have shared here. Thank you!

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