Below are some key tools to help keep a balance between joy and despair.
First, try to engage in daily practices that relax your nervous system and make you feel safe and loved.
When our nervous systems think we are threatened, we are less able to be our best selves. Remembering our wellness is important to being a joyful and kind contributor to the world. Meditation, mindfulness, and exercise have been found to be good for relaxing the nervous system, increasing well-being, and maintaining agency in the world.
Second, seek out opportunities to feel interconnected with other people and the natural world.
Social support and connection that bring out our best selves are critical to us being able to access joy and not get locked in despair. Think about what it is like to be with people who focus entirely on the negative compared to those who see the positive. This isn't about being a Pollyanna, but about making sure we have balance in the type of people with whom we share our time and energy.
Third, seek out opportunities to be of service to something greater than your own well-being.
Invest some energy in looking at what needs to be changed, the same amount of energy in holding back the course of harm that had been created by your previous investments, and most of your energy on creating a reality that offers compassion, safety, justice, and sustainability for all life.
Last, attend to the joys, generosity, and kindness that is all around and amplify it.
We have a choice in what we are going to pay attention and give our energy to. We have an opportunity to bring balance to our lives- being cognizant of the reasons for despair, but acting with joy and gratitude for the gifts of this day.
Original article written by: Mica B. Estrada, Ph.D.