Coping With the Stress of Caregiving Is Easier When You Choose an Attitude of Joy

Coping with Caregiver Stress by Choosing an Attitude of JoyThe stress of caregiving makes managing emotions extremely difficult. Yesterday our priest admitted that she has struggled to understand how it is possible to find joy in life when there is so much pain and suffering in the world.

In her study on this topic she discovered that joy isn’t the opposite of happy, but rather the opposite of “acedia”, a word that is described as a feeling of anxiousness and apathy – an inability to feel calm.

After explaining this, sheasked us to compare ourselves to our computers. She wanted us to imagine our bodies functioning as the hardware, our thoughts and feelings as the the software, and our work, play and activities as the apps. And then she pointed out that the thing that makes everything work together is the operating system.

She said spiritual joy is like the operating system in a computer. It’s the thing that keeps gets us through the complications, challenges and difficulties of our daily lives.

I believe some people are hardwired for joy. I also believe some people are hardwired for melancholy. But the thing that makes being a person so much more wondrous and beautiful than being a machine is the fact that we’ve been given the freedom of choice. We have the power to choose our attitude (our operating system) toward life.

Today I hope you will consciously choose joy. It won’t solve all your troubles or even make everything go smoothly, but it doing so especially during the holidays.
Elaine K Sanchez writes Caregiver Word of the Day. For more support, visit her website,