8 Pillars of Joy in the Time of the Coronavirus

Last summer, I read a book called ‘The Book of Joy‘ by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, edited by Douglas Abrams.  In it, these two spiritual and religious men identified 8 Pillars of Joy; 4 for the mind and 4 for the heart.  During this time of global depression, anxiety and uncertainty, I’m trying to appreciate the small joys in life to keep me sane.

The Dalai Lama said:

For every event in life, there are many different angles.  When you look at the same event from a wider perspective, your sense of worry and anxiety reduces, and you have greater joy.

Today, I’ve been thinking about how we can apply the 8 Pillars of Joy to the current situation.  I don’t wish to underestimate the gravitas of the virus, but I hope this provides a few people with some perspective they crave.

4 Qualities of the Mind:

  • Perspective: Sometimes, we need to switch off the news and focus in on our own lives.  We cannot fix things for everyone, and narrowing our field of vision is essential for mental health during this pandemic.
  • Humility: We are all tiny parts of a whole.  But if we all stay at home and continue to be generous to one another, we can have a big impact.
  • Humour: Try and find a laugh each day.
  • Acceptance: I feel people are beginning to get to grips with this being the ‘new normal’.  Years ago, my dad gave me great advice: not to stress about things I can’t change.  Accepting that this is the way life is at the moment makes it much easier to get out of bed and get on with things.


4 Qualities of the Heart:

  • Forgiveness: Forgive people who may have infected us.
  • Gratitude: Let’s be grateful for the ordinary joys (and currently this weather).
  • Compassion: The acts of kindness I’m witnessing on a daily basis (online and physically) is heartwarming.  We must continue to reach out to those in need and those who are working their damndest to help those affected by the virus.
  • Generosity: People’s generosity of time, money and gifts of support are being reported every day.


If you think of other ways we can apply the Pillars of Joy to the pandemic, please comment below.

Photo by David Jakab from Pexels

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