"Comparison is the thief of joy." - Theodore Roosevelt
We've heard that quote numerous times yet we continue to compare ourselves to others. Why is that?
For me, when I compare my life to someone else's life, it's because I think they have it better than me or they have something that I want. Due to social media (Facebook & Instagram), I find myself comparing myself to others more often. Sometimes I feel like I'm missing out on something because I saw it on Instagram! It leads to greater dissatisfaction in my own life even though my life is pretty good. It's better than just good, it's amazing. I don't say it's amazing because everything is perfect but I know that I am very blessed. But I need to remind myself of this daily and look at what I do have instead of what I don't have. So what's a girl to do in order to have joy in her life? Here's what helps me.
Four Ways to Find Joy
- Taking a step back from social media. Isn't it ironic that I blog and do a lot on Instagram yet sometimes it leads to dissatisfaction in my real life? I scroll through and see so many beautiful people, places, and events and have FOMO. I have to snap myself back to reality and remind myself that the little snapshot I see on IG isn't real life. Someone might look at what I post and think the same thing!
- Read the Bible and pray. Before getting married and having a child, I used to read my Bible, pray and attend church regularly. Since getting married and becoming a mom, it's been more difficult. We also haven't found a home church with a community to be a part of which contributes to the lack of accountability. In high school, college and beyond, I was part of an amazing church community and maybe deep down inside, I wish I could find something like that again. But regardless of finding a church, I know I have to read my Bible and pray more which will just give me a sense of peace and joy in my heart. Whatever your stance or views on Christianity might be, I know that when I am reading God's word and praying, I have more peace, joy, patience, and love. If you don't believe in God, just meditating or clearing your mind can help.
- Get rid of negativity. When I was younger, I was a lot more tolerant of all types of people. Not that I'm not anymore but I choose to not surround myself with people who are always negative, complain, or just super moody. Some might even describe them as toxic. If I was down or something wasn't going well, they would just agree with me and feed the negativity. It didn't do me any good. Something I LOVE about my husband is that when I am negative or whiny, he doesn't feed the negativity. He (sometimes) tells me gently (or not so gently) to snap out of it and get over it. Sometimes I just want him to agree with me but in the end, I'm so glad that he says what he does.
- Count your blessings. Sounds easy right? Then do it. When I look at what I don't have, that's when the negativity creeps in. That's when the joy is gone. There's always something "more" that we want. There will always be someone better than you, prettier, wealthier, with better clothes, with more kids, a bigger house, nicer car, or more this or that. Instead of looking at what you don't have, look at all the blessings you do have. I have to remind myself of the fact that I have an amazing husband who works hard so I can stay home. I have a healthy, smart, beautiful daughter who surprises us daily. We live in America with the freedom to worship what we want, drive where we want to, buy what we want, watch what we want, wear what we want, say what we want, and just live. Yes, these days there are some things that are not ideal but there are worse places to live. Think long and hard about it.
What helps you to find joy in your life?