This morning I was walking my dog when I saw a sign in front of a church. It read "A Joyful Heart Is Good Medicine." I started to wonder, what does that really mean?
As someone who is naturally blessed with an optimistic nature, I know it feels true for me, but it doesn't make any sense to tell someone who feeling sad to try being happy. If it were that easy there would be no need to even say it!
I started to ponder the "medicine" part - what, exactly, is a joyful heart good medicine for? This saying originates in the bible, so there's probably a more profound meaning than a simple "cheer up, buttercup" message.
I think that maybe a joyful heart is actually good medicine for the ills of the world. Being around someone with a joyful heart is a naturally healing place to be. I think a joyful heart actually transforms negativity in the atmosphere. It purifies the environment, like a kind of filter that simply absorbs and neutralizes all kinds of negativity.
Here's an analogy: If you are in a dark room with a bunch of people and one of them turns on a flashlight, the room lights up for everybody. The darkness is simply dispelled. It doesn't take more energy to light up a room for 20 people than it does to just turn on the flashlight for yourself. You probably don't even know how you are lighting up the world for others because it just happens naturally without any effort. Your joyful heart lifts those around you up to your level, up to your rate of 'vibration'. The frequency of joy is higher than the wavelength associated with coarse emotions like anger and fear. You might not notice how others are slowly, subtly moving upward to meet you but it's guaranteed.
So, joyful hearted people, you are good medicine for the whole world. Guard your positive outlook carefully. Don't needlessly expose yourself to negativity by doing things like watching the news or listening to gossip. Most of what's shown on television is based on conflict and drama which in turn feed negativity. Look instead for a great podcast or read a book. There is so much inspiring and entertaining stuff out there you should never have time to be bored.
What if you don't think you have a joyful heart, but would like to? Dive into gratitude. Keep a gratitude journal and start by writing down 3 things every single day that you are grateful for. If you can't think of anything, start with indoor plumbing, or your dog, or chocolate dipped soft ice cream....you'll catch on!