By heatherericksonauthor.comThe Erickson Family

Resilience: Joyful Homeostasis


Homeostasis is defined as “a relatively stable state of equilibrium or a tendency toward such a state between the different but interdependent elements or groups of elements of an organism, population, or group.” [1] In other words, the different aspects of your body are working together to give you optimal health and stability. Emotional homeostasis just means that you have a balanced mental state. Nothing helps contribute to this more than a joyful attitude.

Be Genuine

You can be joyful while still being genuine. By being who you really are at your core, you are being true to yourself. Being genuine allows you to admit when things are difficult when you need help. It’s much better to be open about this than to hide it and feel resentful later on because people aren’t as supportive as you need them to be.

Being genuine will also help you to foster deeper relationships. People bond more strongly with others who are transparent and real. It enables others to trust you and recognize that you are human, with vulnerabilities and hopes.

Exercise Happiness

While you are being genuine, smile! Actively express joy on a daily basis. Let me give you an example. I recently purchased an alien green Kia Soul. Like many people who purchase a new car, I now see identical cars all over the place. One day I decided to wave at them, enthusiastically. It was so much fun. The lady in the other green soul smiled and waved back. I was amazed at how a little thing like that could brighten my day. Soon, this became a habit.


My sister in law developed a similar habit. Whenever she sees a car identical to mine, she prays for me and my children. So each time I wave at green Kia Souls, I also remember that someone is praying for me on a regular basis. Is there something you encounter every day that can trigger a joyful response?

Joyful Humor

Find something to laugh about every day. While you can do this alone, it is better if you can also find someone to laugh with. “We’re much more likely to laugh at something funny in the presence of other people,” says Bill Kelley, a psychology professor at Dartmouth College. [2] This is why sit comes traditionally include a laugh track to trigger a response from the audience—and it works!

Who’s that funny friend you can always count on to lift your spirits? Spend some time with them and laugh. My husband and I loved to laugh at really clever humor. I think it’s more fun to laugh with a friend because you can share in their joy, and they, in yours. We even handled his cancer with humor, as often as we could. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t take it seriously. We did. But we also knew there was a time for crying and a time for laughter.

Realistic Optimism

Another aspect of resilience is to have realistic optimism. This isn’t false hope or denial. It’s looking at life with a joyful outlook. My favorite example of this was when the doctor told Dan that people with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer had a 4% chance of surviving 5 years.  Dan thought about that and said, “Someone has to be part of the 4%. It might as well be me.” That was how he lived his life. It doesn’t mean that he never got down about it, or wondered what the next scan had in store for us. He did. But he also looked for a realistic way to find hope in those hard places.

Resilience is fostered in many ways. Finding those pathways to resilience is best done with a joyful outlook.


There is so much more that could be said about this, but I will leave that up to you, my readers. Tell me your thoughts in the comment section, below. I appreciate my readers as well as the writing community. To show that appreciation, I use Comment Luv. Just leave a comment below and your latest post will get a link next to it. Thank you!

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In 2012 doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan, with stage IV lung cancer. Since then, our family has been learning what it means to face cancer. I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace.

My book Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone Who Has Cancer, is available on

Also, check out Facing Cancer as a Parent: Helping Your Children Cope with Your Cancer.

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I also blog at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker


[1] “Homeostasis.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, 2019,

[2] Nierenberg, Cari. “We May Hate Laugh Tracks — but They Work, Studies Show.”, NBCUniversal News Group, 23 Sept. 2011,

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