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3 Ways to grow in joy this summer


By Lucky Business | Shutterstock

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 06/10/21

Struggling to feel hopeful and happy right now? These practices can help.

Summer can be a delightfully carefree season, recalling lazy childhood days of splashing in the pool and licking freezer pops in the backyard. It feels especially hopeful this year, as pandemic restrictions are lifting in many places, and people are rejoicing in the chance to see family and friends again.

But restrictions lifting comes with its own set of worries, too. In addition to still taking precautions to keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy, we’re trying to decide what to add back into our lives, and what we’re glad we dropped during the pandemic. We also need to reacquaint ourselves with social routines and expectations we’d nearly forgotten about!  

If you’re struggling to feel joyful right now, want to improve your attitude, or simply want to celebrate the joy of summer, try one of these 3 strategies.

1Practice gratitude daily

The words of the liturgy enjoin us “always and everywhere to give [God] thanks.” Take time to write down or say aloud a few things you’re grateful for each day. It’s amazing what a difference this simple practice can make!

Taking time to give thanks isn’t just a spiritual practice. Loads of research back the benefits of this habit. Give it a try and you might be amazed at how joyful you’ll soon feel.

2Seek wisdom from others

They say you can learn any lesson the “easy way” or the “hard way.” The easy way is listening to someone who’s done it before, and learning from their mistakes and experience. The hard way is making all those mistakes yourself!

Make things a little easier on yourself: Choose “the easy way” to learn, and seek out advice from prudent and trustworthy sources. 

Your parents, grandparents, older siblings, and good friends are a great place to start; just make sure to stick to areas the person you’re talking to knows a lot about! You can also find wonderful advice and support from a life coach, a spiritual director, or even a professional therapist.

3Attend a conference that’s all about joy

The Mission of Joy Summit is a 3-day Catholic virtual event with more than 30 amazing speakers. It’s centered around joy, nurturing a missionary mindset, spiritual growth, and cultivating healing and wholeness on the path to greater joy.

“Unshakable joy is possible,” their site assures us. Indeed it is. The summit starts tomorrow, so check it out right away!

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