In world news this past week it seemed as if everything was going to hell in a hand basket, so-to-speak; from the shooter in Charleston to New York’s recent prison break, with two escapees still on the loose… violence around the U.S. continues to climb. Then there are the fires in California and in Alaska that keep firefighters extremely busy, not to mention the severe rains that cause flooding in different parts of the Midwest or northeast, but these are only a few examples of breaking news around the world. Whenever the television went on last week it seemed as if turmoil was brewing somewhere at all times. I sat back in disbelief… worried for those victims in the church, where a young man decided to kill people after sitting with them. Prayers were long in churches across America this week; as crimes continue to take place everywhere and actually could happen anywhere at any time, so when do we stop worrying? How do we bounce back and find happiness in this world today? It’s all a matter of limitations.

Many of us are programmed to follow news, from the morning hours to evening, there is plenty going on no matter where we live, and we watch it every day. Recently I decided to ‘limit’ myself as to how much I watch. Don’t get me wrong… I need to be educated on what’s going on, but too much bad news sends negative vibes in my mind. It is an ever changing world we live in, and I can remember many years ago watching the news while they covered accidents, events around the city, and the usual in sports and weather, not that they don’t do some of these same things, but let’s face it… now there are more murders, road rage, pedestrian accidents, and catastrophic events that bring even more breaking news to our lives on a frequent basis. (All of this can be depressing to the mind.)

I have made a valid decision to take in a little less news and focus on positive energy within myself. Finding joy in our lives should be an important part of our day. From the time we wake up, find something to smile about; whether it’s taking a deep breath and looking at the sunshine or being grateful for your family and friends… there is joy. Being mindful of moments that happen during your day, living in the present moment will bring joy; once you realize that even the smallest of things can bring a smile to your face. Be kind to others, as you want them to be towards you, and being able to ‘do’ a random act of kindness also brings happiness. I know… just the other day I opened the door for someone in a wheelchair, even though I was in a bit of a rush, I walked out and then suddenly turned back around and waited… so I could open the door; that was an act of kindness, and it made me feel good. It is true what they say about kindness, the more you do and witness others doing … it is all about feeling good, as it creates a spike in moods and the desire to do more for others. Get more rest, getting the proper amount of sleep, not to mention finding peaceful moments, will also increase your mood. These are just a couple of ways to find more joy in your life, and its benefits can help with health issues as well. Lastly, make goals for yourself. Setting goals and pursuing them can create a little excitement even if you do not attain them; it’s all about bringing joy and happiness in your life. It is as simple as it sounds. Limit yourself as to how much bad news you want to hear or watch these days, as this too can be helpful. Now ask yourself, “What can I smile about today?” Personally, I woke up this morning and I can feel my arms and legs (thank goodness), oh… and there’s hot coffee in the kitchen with a Danish; I’m smiling now and I feel joy.

Make your week count.