Ida from Spark!

When times are tough, practice JOY

There’s no beating around the bush here, things have been tough lately. For over two years, it feels like crisis after crisis has been plaguing us, and sometimes it can feel like a lot to manage and process.

Everyone copes with adversity in their own way, and that’s okay. Some look to religion, while some may joke or cry or even just fully isolate themselves. There’s no one way to grapple with heartache and distress, because we are all humans with different brains and different brain chemistry.

At Spark!, we don’t pretend to know the answer to some of our world’s greatest struggles. But we do have some strategies that we believe help to at least get through hard times.

When everything around you seems like it’s crumbling, and it feels like there’s nothing you can do about it, we like to advocate for practicing JOY.


However much we hate to admit it, we can’t control other people. We can control only ourselves. But in controlling ourselves, we can choose how we respond to other’s actions and behavior. If you think of your life as if it is a dream, a story unfolded by your brain in real time with sensory input, a projection of a momentary reality on a screen in your mind, you can step in as director and make changes accordingly.

This is not to say that you should ignore the world around you, and take a back seat on the journey of your life. Rather, by just observing yourself, taking the wheel, and grounding yourself in your immediate reality, you take the first step toward truth and feeling true joyfulness.

One of the most powerful tools to attain joyfulness is to practice gratitude. It may seem counterintuitive, when there is darkness all around us, to consider gratitude. But in the darkness, considering that for which we are grateful roots us in the present and helps to lift us out of the abyss.

Take a moment and consider 3 to 5 things which you are grateful for, whether you choose loved ones, hobbies, or health - there are no wrong answers. If you chose a person, consider sharing with them why you are grateful for them.

We promise that with time, practicing gratitude and JOY will help to alleviate your burdens even while taking on the greatest issues of our time.
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