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May 4, 2022

When JOY is on E

For the past two years, we have experienced major life changes.  The pandemic has brought on all kinds of changes, which have produced all kinds of emotions.  Some of us have experienced major losses, while others have experienced changes to our routines, that have left us in a panic mode, or life altering state that we just cannot seem to adjust.

Our JOY has dwindled down to E.

We have attempted to adjust our routines, our schedules.  We have attempted to keep our day full of all of the things we did before the pandemic, but there have been challenges that we just can’t correct.  The effects of these truths have caused our JOY to dwindle, and maybe even disappear.

It’s a great feeling to have a great feeling.  Emotions that are positive and jubilant may be brought on by big life events, (such as a wedding, graduation, birth, milestone birthday celebrations), or something as simple as finding a bargain on your favorite clothing item.

On an emotional level, we may feel joy in a variety of ways – tearfully, euphorically, a deep sense of reality, and more.

The way joy supports the body and aids in supporting positive outcomes for the body, includes a positive flow of blood flow to digestion.  There are many benefits of feeling more joy.  Some of them are:

  • Promotes a healthier lifestyle
  • Boosts immune system
  • Fights stress and pain
  • Supports longevity

We feel joy in our bodies because of the release of dopamine and serotonin.  Both of these chemicals are heavily associated with happiness.

So how do we gain the JOY back we once had?

If you are feeling down, simple activities like going for a walk outdoors, spending time with a beloved pet, kissing a loved one, spreading positive thoughts and words to someone you do not know, can help neurotransmitters do their job and raise your mood.  When something you perceive as happy happens, your brain receives the signal to release these chemicals, (dopamine and serotonin) into your central nervous system and then this causes reactions in other bodily systems.

Butterflies in your stomach, facial expressions, even changes in your body temperature… all of these can depend on your emotions.

Physical exercise is one of the best ways to protect your JOY, and your emotions.  Your circulatory system consists of your heart, veins, blood vessels, blood, and lymph.  Physical exercise gets all of these working together and working for your good which in turn sends signals of joy and happiness to your brain.  You’ve heard the saying: “the hardest part is getting started.”  There is truth to that.  Before you start an exercise or exercise routine, your body has not experienced the release of the chemicals.  Once you are in the middle of an exercise routine, or in the habit of working out, your brain is ready to receive the chemicals it experienced when released.  Why? Those chemicals release the feelings of happiness, and joy.  Your body begins to crave those chemicals.

Isn’t that funny?  What much of society tells us that working out is hard, difficult and not enjoyable, actually our brain tells our body to crave it once we get it into a routine.

When your JOY is on E …start a new exercise routine.  Go for a walk in a new environment.  Borrow someone’s pet. Kiss a significant other.

You just may find some JOY in the process.

By: Eden Barbee-Mabry / (@gardenonthegram – IG/ @EdenJBe – Twitter)
Eden Barbee-Mabry is an Education Support Analyst with the State of Georgia. Eden is a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and was led to relocate to Atlanta, Georgia after graduating from Clark Atlanta University in 1988. Eden joined Black Girls Run! in Spring of 2016 and graduated from the Walk B4 You Run program in June of 2016 and is currently Run Lead for the Fairburn, Georgia group. Eden is a purse lover and strives to inspire every woman because her belief is that although the circumstances may be different, every woman can extract strength from another woman’s story.