While the world would have you thinking that you have to chase down happiness or that maybe it’s for other people, I’m here to tell you that’s not true. You have the power to create joy in your everyday life.
Joy is not just for special moments or some future date when everything is accomplished. A joyful life is one lived in the messiness of the present moment. Choosing joy is an antidote to life on autopilot and it will help you find the fulfillment and pleasure you want and deserve.
Here are 5 tips to get you started:
1. Choose Joy
It may sound simple but, you need to choose joy for yourself. Choosing joy is an act of self-love. It’s also a great act of reverence for this human experience. When you choose joy, you are choosing to create joy in your days and also to let yourself experience it.
In years of talking to people about joy, I’ve found that there are some common obstacles that get in our way.
First, we may feel we’re not worthy of joy. That’s simply not true. Everyone is worthy of joy and if you feel you’re not, I encourage you to dabble with joy.
Second, we may feel that joy is for later. We’ll feel happy after we’ve got that job, retired, or found the perfect relationship. I’m encouraging you to choose joy today.
Third, we may not have time for joy because we’re too busy. To this, I would simply remind you not to let life pass you by. Each moment of joy you choose for yourself is like threading the pearls of your life.
2. Notice What Brings You Joy
In the chaos of life, we can get disconnected from what actually brings us joy. There are two parts to this. First, notice what brings you joy, and second, allow yourself to feel joy.
Notice What Brings You Joy
Noticing what brings you joy is a beautiful experiment. Don’t be surprised if the things that bring you joy change over time. Be curious and experiment with doing more things that bring you joy and letting go of anything that doesn’t.
- What activities bring you joy?
- What music makes you feel good?
- What restorative practices help you relax and unwind?
- What people light you up?
- How would you like to spend the perfect Saturday?
As for feeling joy, this can be difficult for some of us. Joy can be a very overwhelming emotion or one that we don’t always allow ourselves.
In life’s small moments, notice what brings you joy and allow yourself to feel it. Notice how it feels in your body. Perhaps you feel an openness in your heart, a flutter in your tummy, or a beautiful smile crosses your face. You can begin to notice and feel joy in small increments. These will have a cumulative effect over time.
If you are looking to build a greater connection with yourself as you open to joy, I suggest you start with some simple mindfulness exercises. Here are 5 Easy Mindfulness Exercises.
3. Create Joy in Small Moments
Life becomes very sweet when you adopt the practice of creating joy in small moments. When you bring joy into everyday activities, joy becomes layered into everything you are already doing instead of a separate endeavor.
For example, when I’m at my desk and embarking on a project I don’t enjoy, I often notice that my brow is furrowed, my shoulders tense and my jaw is clenched. Not a great way to start! But I have the power to turn a joyless moment into a joyful one. I do this by getting my favorite glass and filling it with lemon water. I turn on music I love. I put on an essential oil I enjoy. I may also set a time limit for myself to work on the project. I’ll also stretch my neck and shoulders and unclench my jaw. I’ve just infused this otherwise unpleasant or boring task with joy. I not only accomplish more, but I made my moments that much more enjoyable.
Finding joy in everyday moments is a powerful practice. Give it a try. Infuse your life with simple, small joys and notice the transformative effects.
4. Spread Joy
Your joy can really have an amazing ripple effect so make it a goal to spread joy. When you are generous with your joy, it can turn up the dial on everybody’s joy.
Plus, helping others feel happy makes you even happier!
Spreading joy can be very simple and again, you can infuse it into your everyday moments. The simplest way to spread joy is to smile. Smiles light up a room! You could also do something kind for someone in your life. Sending a quick text to someone to let you know you’re thinking about them is a great way to spread happiness. In these simple actions you are creating joy!
Remember, it’s the simple things that we do consistently that make all the difference!
5. Practice Gratitude
In the course each day, take a few moments now and again to pause and notice what you are grateful for. Create a few moments in the morning or before you go to bed to reflect on three things you are grateful for. Take a moment to really feel the gratitude in your heart.
Gratitude honors and elevates joy. When we notice what’s good and abundant in life, we will find even more of it.
Science has also shown that gratitude rewires your brain, reduces stress, and triggers your feel-good neurochemicals. In a nutshell, we’ve just created more joy!
Related reading recommendation: How Would 30 Days of Radical Gratitude Change Your Life?
Creating Joy in Everyday Moments
To sum it all up, joy is available to all of us at every moment. Does it mean we don’t struggle or that every moment is perfect? No. It means that in every moment we can choose activities to connect to our joy and take care of ourselves.
We can choose joy and we need to allow ourselves to feel joy. I encourage you to experiment infusing your small moments with finding joy and spreading it in big and small ways to the world around you.
One of my favorite quotes by Emily Dickinson is “forever is made of nows” and with that I want to remind you that there is an opportunity in every moment to take a step towards creating joy. I encourage you to choose it for yourself and enjoy your journey!
About the Author
Adrienne Enns is the Founder & Chief Joy Curator at May You Know Joy Inc. Her mission is to inspire our most intentional living through products, conversations and experiences. She is the author of Intentional Days and host of The Intention Sessions podcast. Adrienne learned to live with intention and search out joy in her recovery journey. Website: www.mayyouknowjoy.com Instagram: @mayyouknowjoy Facebook: @May You Know Joy