Here are six super-simple ways to create more joy in your life:
1. Challenge yourself. Think of a project you’ve wanted to accomplish, whether it’s creating a small vegie garden, starting your own blog, or mastering salsa dancing. The process of setting a goal, learning the necessary steps to achieve it, and giving it your best until you’ve mastered it will generate high self-esteem and pride. Those are feelings associated with joy.
2. Be inspired. Another way to get more joy into our lives is to find it through activities that stretch our perceptions and take us out of ordinary day-to-day life. Engaging in meditation and prayer are two obvious ways to produce a feeling of well-being, serenity, and joy. Being alone in nature is another way to feel the joy of beauty — and oneness with a greater whole.
3. Just have fun. Do an uplifting and enjoyable activity that’s not goal-oriented, but just plain fun. A few examples include playing in the park with your kids, dancing, hiking, visiting the art gallery or enjoying a concert. Play and other activities that don’t have a purpose other than helping us feel relaxed and happy keep our mind focused on the present. The present is where joy lives.
4. Deal with the sadness that blocks joy. When we feel sad, joy it isn’t possible to also feel bubbly and exhilarated. In a place that feels safe and private, constructively express your sadness by allowing yourself to cry. While crying, acknowledge your hurts and losses. Don’t indulge any negative thoughts about yourself. Just keep telling yourself, “I’m fine. It’s okay to cry. I just feel sad.” You’ll immediately feel relief and even joyful.
5. Honour yourself. Joy doesn’t come from others; it comes from within. Stop thinking negative thoughts about yourself and replace them with statements that honour yourself, such as, “I’m fine the way I am. I did my best. I can do this. I love myself. What I’m seeking is within me.” Also, focus on the good and what you did well. Write down self-appreciations so you can read and say them frequently. The more you reinforce these concepts, the more they’ll become reality.
6. Give yourself a break. Nurture yourself. Set up a time, just for you, when you can disconnect from daily responsibilities and get away from the noise, stimulation, and demands of your world. Joy comes easily when we focus on our own needs in a caring and loving way. Get a massage. Close the door, put your feet up, and watch the world outside your window. Take a nap. These kinds of activities replenish us and give our body and soul a chance to feel pure joy.