These unprecedented times have been hard for most of us. But while turmoil always accompanies trauma and change, another thing that happens at times like this is post-traumatic growth.

Yes, believe it or not, situations like this, do result in us becoming stronger in ways that serve us. However, this is not a passive process. The science on post-traumatic growth suggests that integrating practices that build resilience is a way of guaranteeing positive growth that allows us to feel better in the process.

Many have heard of gratitude as a practice that helps. Among its many benefits, paying attention to the things we are grateful for allows the nervous system to shift out of survival mode and into a state of restoration, which is what we want to ensure we are operating at our best.


Another proven resiliency practice that gets less attention is joy. Gratitude and joy sometimes overlap, but are not quite the same and are worthy of reflecting on separately.

Joy refers to the everyday moments that you love and enjoy. One example is enjoying the weather on a beautiful day. I live in Toronto, where it’s often cold. Leaning into the feeling of the sun on my body, the colours all around me, and the sound of the birds on a beautiful day, allows me to be present with the good in the present moment. In addition to getting a good dose of positivity, taking the time to enjoy the good with all of my senses is a concrete reminder that, even in times of stress, good things continue to happen. Archiving the joy of a beautiful day in the inner-highlight reel of my life, also serves to assure me that there will be more joyful moments that I can look forward to discovering and experiencing in the future.

Once you’ve been practicing gratitude and joy, recognizing those moments as they occur gets easier. We get better at leaning into them and absorbing all that they have to give us. This is how we build inner resiliency that helps us feel grounded and confident in our ability to face anything, including these uncertain times.

So what are the moments of joy you had today? Consider sharing yours with those you know and with us too in the comments below. It’s a conversation that we all need to be having now.

Take Care,
Dr. Stacy & The Design Your Life Team

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