Do you suffer from a Joy deficiency? Jacob Nordby lists the symptoms and explains why this could be much worse than a zombie attack.
There is an epidemic sweeping our land. It is less dramatic but more deadly in the long run than the fictional virus in The Walking Dead TV show which turned normal people into savage, soul-less zombies.
You may be suffering the symptoms already. But don’t worry, I’m not here to ram a crowbar through your skull. There’s a cure.
This disease is brought on by the deficiency of an essential element: Vitamin J. “J” stands for joy. If that very word annoys you, you are probably already in an advanced stage of this condition and may not even know it.
Read on for seven warning signs of this deficiency—and what to do about it.
Sufferers of a Vitamin J deficiency often notice that the world has lost its glow and sizzle. It as if some invisible graphic designer clicked the “faded grayscale effect” button and everything now appears in shades of drab. This often makes your friends and loved ones appear ugly and stupid.
Lack of Appetite
If deficient in this vitamin, you have little desire for wholesome news, good books and nourishing experiences. You will experience cravings for the negative and feed on stories about is wrong in the world. You may consume large quantities of television news, radio talk show rants and other material which never satisfies the real hunger.
Compromised Immune System
Diminished Sex Drive
Those with insufficient Vitamin J gradually lose their libido and may resort to high quantities of low quality sexual experiences in an attempt to compensate.
You may discover that you lack the nerve to take life on. This is likely due to low levels of Vitamin J. It weakens resolve, causes stumbling and may cause the sufferer to lose their grip. You may start to hate your work, hide from challenges you once loved and basically stagger through your days without a sense of balance or purpose.
Including paranoia, panic attacks and, in severe cases, thoughts of suicide. (Seriously, if you are having suicidal thoughts, quit reading this and call 911 now. I mean it!)
Sufferers of Vitamin J deficiency often begin cutting themselves off from real connection with other people and find themselves filling hours with meaningless tasks or entertainment. They avoid holidays and other special occasions which could revive them.
This is not a comprehensive list of the symptoms, but perhaps you can see why this epidemic is so deadly and must be stopped.
The good news is, there’s a cure. If you suffer these symptoms, you need not allow it to progress into the advanced stages. As dance pioneer Gabrielle Roth wrote:
“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions. When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?”
Sometimes we need therapy and counselors and deep, introspective work to uncover the old blocks to joy in our psyches—but often we can begin to recover by taking simple actions:
Dancing – even if you do this badly, just the physical action set to music in the company of others is a surprising tonic.
Singing – have you tried karaoke lately?
Reading – enchanting stories (try Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, for example).
Silence – it is proven that meditation will restore balance in our minds and bodies. Also a long walk in the fresh air with ourselves as company is like a double-dose IV of Vitamin J.
But, sometimes you just gotta hang out with your buddies around a campfire, smoke a cigar, drink some whiskey, tell some filthy jokes, laugh until your face hurts and then look at the stars for a long, long timThe critical point to remember is that you’re beautiful. You are a direct, intense reflection of The Big Everything wrapped in a fascinating human package so intricate and complex that your lowliest features are unbelievably miraculous. Your ability to operate in this tiny time-space realm is a high honor and every second is precious.
Know this, too: Joy is the most powerful medicine for soul and body, the clearest compass pointing to our path with heart, and the highest service we can offer the world.
Can you think of other symptoms of Vitamin J deficiency—or share your favorite cures?
Photo: Flickr/Scott Beale