We most often associate this time of the year to giving thanks and reflecting on the things that bring us joy, but gratitude can go beyond the season, gratitude can play a pivotal role in being able to lean into and sustain joy year-round. Although feelings of joy can seem frightening, as pain might come swooping in at any moment, there are ways to alleviate this fear, while still holding onto the joy; the key is gratitude.
Brené Brown’s research on vulnerability has found that most people feel that joy is an incredibly vulnerable feeling and can often feel more vulnerable than shame and fear. However, Dr. Brown also has found that those who view themselves and their lives through a joyful lens practice gratitude throughout their lives and their joyful nature to this mindset. The following is a quote from a recent interview with Dr. Brené Brown where she describes how she uses gratitude to quell fears of losing joy.
Vulnerability is real, and we have a physiological response to it—a quiver. Some of us use that quiver as a warning sign to start dress-rehearsing tragedy, while others use it as a reminder to practice gratitude. Now, in those deeply joyful moments when I feel the quiver, I literally say, “I’m so grateful for…” And sometimes I say it over and over. It’s changed my life.
We all deserve to feel deep and consistent joy in our lives and simple gratitude practices are one way in which we can achieve a joyful life.
For more information on the article and interview that inspired this post, click here.