How To: Live a More Joyous Life
One of my words for 2019 was joy and my mission this year is to truly and wholeheartedly live a more joyous life. We aren’t always guaranteed tomorrow so making the best of each day is key.
So lets start with the basics. What does joy mean to you? To me, joy is a state of pure happiness and bliss; it is exhilarating and gives you that “high on life” feeling. Joy - much like a smile - is contagious. Joy is an emotion, a good feeling that you feel deep in your soul. In Galatians 5:22-23 it says: “The fruit of the [Holy] Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control.” Pretty powerful, huh?!
In an effort to make this a more joy-filled year, I’ve come up with more than 10 ways to live a more joyous life. Some have taken me a bit to “perfect” and some I’m still working on to better myself. It’s about finding happy moments in all seasons of life because being down in the dumps [or a grouch] does nothing for your productivity or self-esteem! Plus, who doesn’t want to just live a more positive life?! If you find yourself struggling during difficult or stressful times in life, this list is for you! Here’s how you can live a more joyous life…
Be Grateful From The Moment You Wake Up
If you start each day with a grateful heart, you will be amazed at what it does for your mood and how you react throughout the day. Be grateful that you were blessed with another day here on this earth. Be grateful that you have the abilities you have and for the opportunities that the day has in store. Don’t let a busy day of meetings stress you out - it’s part of the job. Don’t go to bed angry - I repeat, do not go to bed angry.
Give Yourself Time Each Day For Self-Care
Self-care each day?! Sign me up! Now this doesn’t necessarily mean doing a face mask every single day…unless that’s you jam. This can be the smallest of things, but dedicating even just 5-10 minutes each day for you can truly turn any day around. You could sleep in a bit after a busy day, or wake up early to take that yoga class you’ve always wanted to take, or maybe just enjoying your morning coffee while reading a good book, or giving yourself an at-home mani or pedi, or calling your best friend just to say hi. What is your favorite form of self-care?
Get More Sunshine and Fresh Air
It truly is amazing what some sunshine and fresh air can do for you! If I’m ever feeling overwhelmed or stressed or just feeling all of the emotions, taking even just a few minutes to sit or walk outside makes all the difference. It awakens the soul, it’s refreshing and how can you not feel alive with the sun shining down on you?! In the depths of winter this can be a bit more difficult but it is still important to get fresh air. With the lack of sunshine in certain areas, maybe consider adding a Vitamin D supplement to your daily routine to make up for the lack of sunshine.
Smile: Its Contagious
As Buddy the Elf said, “I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite!” It truly is amazing how something as simple as a smile can not only turn your day around, or be so contagious. Even if it is smiling at a stranger as you hold the door open for them, or smiling at the security guard at the entrance of your building, or smiling at a stranger you walk by on the street, or smiling at the barista getting your latte on a busy Monday morning - a simple smile truly can not only make you feel more joyous, but others around you. Try it next time you are out and about, you’ll be amazed!
Limit Your “Wallowing / Pissed Off” Time
I saw someone mention this a while ago and I thought “oh that will never work for me, it’s totally normal to be upset about certain things.” Boy was I wrong! Yes, it is totally normal to get upset or angry at certain situations but I’ve learned that sulking and wallowing about it for hours or days on end does absolutely nothing for my mentality, my mood or my productivity level. I try to give myself a time limit in a sense to get allllll the emotions out and to reflect on a situation. After that, it is time to stop dwelling on it and move on to bigger and better things.
Stop Caring What Others Think
Now this is certainly easier said than done and I think always in a sense a work in progress for many. It’s sort of human nature that we care what others think and there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that. It is when you focus so much on the viewpoints of others that you lose sight of yourself or let it consume you, that you’ve let it go too far. You can be selective on who’s opinions and viewpoints you take into consideration, from those close to you that you trust deeply. Know your worth, stay true to yourself and surround yourself with like-minded, similar people.
Focus on the Here and Now
This can also be a bit easier said than done but this has been something I’ve been working on for quite some time. Don’t dwell on the past or overthink the future. Though you can learn from your mistakes or past situations, you cannot change what happened. Dwelling on it and picturing different outcomes or circumstances does not change the past. And focusing so heavily on the future, trying to predict everything that will happen is not necessarily going to change how things take place. Sometimes you have to take a step back and just let things happen as they may. Your mindset plays a huge role in this!
Get Rid of Things [or People] That Don’t Bring You Joy
Time to Marie Kondo the shit out of your life! I like to go through my apartment a few times a year and go through everything I own. I ask myself, “Does this bring me joy or am I holding onto it just because?” It has truly helped me to rid my home of so much stuff, keeping only the things that I enjoy and bring me joy. This can also be said for people in your life, though certainly much more difficult than getting rid of some old clothes or nick-nacks. If there are people in your life that continually bring you down, make you feel unworthy, it is time to move on. It is better to have a few very close friends than a million so-so friends. Off this, you can extend this mentality to your social media. I have done my fair-share of unfollow sprees and I’m not afraid to hide it. There is nothing wrong with unfollowing people who are not producing content that you relate to or that brings you joy and makes you feel like you can conquer the world. Social media should be a space that inspires you and motivates you.
Shift Your Lens / Reaction
This is a big one that I think I will forever be working on but I have certainly made some progress. Shifting your lens on how you react to certain situations can make such a difference in your outlook. Instead of thinking “Why did this happen to me?” ask yourself “What is this trying to teach me?” Yes, it can be easier said than done but by changing your initial reaction to a situation makes such a big difference. Just the wording of the question is more joyous. We can all grow from every situation we encounter in life so by looking at those difficult and upsetting situations in that frame of mind, it truly can make a huge impact.
Now this may work for some and may not for others. I personally have not dabbled into journaling but it is something I feel that would be beneficial to me. It is a space where you can freely write your thoughts and feelings from the day. By taking a moment to recognize all of the things from the day that brought you joy and that you are grateful for, a day that seemed mundane or stressful might not seem so bad after all! It can even by little things like treating yourself to a morning latte before work or going to that yoga class after work, to larger things like landing a promotion or raise. I think it is important to appreciate the big and little moments, because it is sometimes the little things that can bring us the most joy!
Limit Screen Time
This is one I’m continually working on but have found ways over the past year to do so. Sometimes we can get caught in the endless scroll and lose track of what is going on IRL. We scroll from the moment we wake up til the moment we go to sleep at night. I typically don’t allow myself to use email or social media until 8am and stop using at 10pm. It is certainly still a work in progress but I notice it does wonders for my mentality for the day along with how well I sleep at night. I also like to implement no tech zone time periods, be it for a night or for a few days where I completely stay off of social media, email and really only use my phone for necessities. It’s such a reset and I feel so refreshed during and after these no tech zones.
And there you have it my friends - more than 10 ways to live a more joyous life this year and beyond! Have other tips and tricks that work for you? Share below in the comments!