The small change Wellness Coach


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Find Your "JoySpot" - Improve Your Health!

August 04, 20234 min read

Joy is the heart speaking in many tongues.

Three things ignite my inner joy. They are reading, writing, and crocheting. There are others, but these three never let me down. And here is what Gratitude has taught me, the more time I spend in my “JoySpot,” the better I feel!

In the third grade, I fell in love with reading, thanks to my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Dorothy McKinney, and my big brother, Johnny Mack. Mrs. McKinney paid for my first subscription to the Weekly Reader, a news magazine that introduced me to students and stories worldwide. Not only did I love learning about other cultures, but the activities in that little student magazine made learning fun and cool; it’s where I met my first pen pal and wrote my first pen pal letter.

Johnny Mack gave me my first copy of Jet Magazine, a weekly publication covering national news and African-American entertainment. It blew my eight-year-old mind to learn about what Black folks were doing outside my community. Nothing compares to the excitement I felt when he walked through the door with a Jet tucked in his back pocket, pulled it out, and handed it to me. I knew I would learn something new, which made reading fun.

Those two magazines planted seeds of hope that someday I would see my name in print. At that time, I had no idea how that farfetched dream would materialize. Neither did I know that my tumultuous teen years would put it on hold. But being a late bloomer, I revisited that dream decades later and have since published six books, written a small change health article for a weekly newspaper since 2006, and even had a few poems published in regional publications.

That’s what joy will do for you when you learn to tap into it and allow it to put you in your happy place, where you do what you do for the sheer joy of doing it. Happy artists, entertainers, teachers, cooks, mothers, designers, musicians, hobbyists do what they do because they enjoy the process. While the finished product makes them proud, the joy is in the doing.

Here’s the bottom line: Finding your “JoySpot” is one of the best things you can do to improve your health and feeling of wellbeing. Here are five reasons why:

  1. It improves your emotional and mental health by reducing stress and anxiety, combating depression and sadness, and fostering resilience and well-being. When you're in your Joy Spot, the brain produces more dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins - the happiness hormones, making you more optimistic about life. It increases energy and vitality, causing you to feel more motivated, enthusiastic.

  2. It boosts your immune system: Studies have shown that positive emotions, such as joy, laughter, and happiness, can strengthen the immune system and help it function more efficiently, making you less susceptible to illnesses and infections.

  3. It enhances heart health and naturally lowers blood pressure.

  4. Joy enhances relationships. When you're in your Joy Spot, you radiate positive energy, making you more approachable and likable. Joy is contagious, and by sharing your happiness with others, you strengthen social bonds, build better connections, and experience a more profound sense of belonging.

  5. And here’s the big one. When you’re in your Joy Spot, you love yourself more and are more likely to take better care of yourself. You become more attuned to your needs. You make life-enhancing choices such as setting boundaries and practicing self-compassion.

I read to learn. I write to share what I’ve learned. I crochet to relax and spend fun time with my daughter, Mia – the one-hand crocheter. It also allows my creative spirit to flow through fiber. These are my JoySpots!

What connects you to your inner joy? What makes your heart sing? Do you have a hobby or other interests? Do you enjoy helping others? What do you love doing so much that you would do it for free? Where is your “Joy Spot?’ Find it and make the small change to spend at least 30 minutes in that spot every single day. Not every other day or whenever you have some extra time, but every day. Make it a priority; you might be surprised at how good it makes you feel. And remember this…THE ONLY PERSON THAT CAN DENY YOU OF YOUR JOY IS YOU!

Want to learn more about connecting to your inner Joy? Contact me at or 731-267-2524

Myrtle Russell, the small change Wellness Coach and Creator of the small change

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Myrtle Russell

Myrtle Russell, the small change Wellness Coach.

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