How to find joy when your life is falling apart

Sometimes it hurts to smile. Sometimes it takes too much energy to be happy, but even then you can find little moments of joy.

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  • Just living and enduring through difficulties is sometimes all that you have strength for. But there is something you can do to make you happier that takes little to no energy - realize joy.

  • It feels like life has to crumble and fall sometimes before it can be rebuilt as a happy and healthy life. Through the humility, trials and tears, I am always able to find a source of joy in my crumbling life. How? Here's how you can do it too:

  • One good thing per day

  • The silver linings in life may not be clear when everything is falling apart, but take a deep breath and look a little harder. Find one good thing each day to be happy about and write it down in a journal or on your phone. It's OK if your good thing is nothing more than your ability to write or speak. It's also OK to repeat the same thing multiple days in a row.

  • When you feel your day falling apart, pull out your list. Focus on one of the good things. These simple joys act as a guiding light through the dust of your crumbling life. Eventually, this light will be able to guide you away from the ruins of your past life and help you figure out where to start rebuilding.

  • Don't seek pity

  • The instant you start looking for pity is the same instant it will start getting harder for you to find good things in your life. It's OK to look for empathy and share what you are going through when you need help, but don't try to get others to pity you.

  • This policy applies to you, too. Don't pity yourself. Instead, focus on the future and what your life can become.

  • German writer Walter Anderson said, "Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have-life itself." Live by this quote and find joy.

  • Share the good things with others

  • Your friends and family probably know when things are difficult for you but you shouldn't hide the good times from them. Get your family's help when looking for the positive.

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  • You'll find that the more you are around a positive atmosphere, the more likely you are to feel more joy. It won't make your problems go away, but it does make life a little easier to endure.

  • Watch or read something funny

  • Psychologists from the University of Kansas discovered that "smiling during brief stressors can help to reduce the intensity of the body's stress response, regardless of whether a person actually feels happy."

  • It's OK to breakdown and cry, but don't forget how important it is to laugh and smile. During the day, find time to watch your favorite stand-up comedian or comedy show to help lift your spirits.

  • Finding joy in difficult times starts by just looking for something positive. As you realize good can be found in any situation, you'll start to find more and more reasons to be joyful. You will be able to smile as you walk through the ruins of your old life and look ahead to building a newer and better life.


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Stacie Simpson is a FamilyShare staff writer. She loves listening to, gathering and sharing stories and advice to help others improve their quality of life. She spends most of her free time with her husband, ballroom dancing, reading and writing.

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