“Finding joy is as easy as a simple focusing on the things you love.”
That's a sweet little sentiment, right? You may be thinking "Sure, let me get right on that", as you roll your eyes. That same sarcasm is also coming from me, a self-proclaimed "bright-sider". However,I don't think finding joy is as easy or simple as only thinking about the things you love.
There’s work that needs to be done first.
For the record, it’s not that I don't agree with the above statement. I actually know for a fact that bringing your focus to the things that you love will eventually lead you to joy. But it takes time to figure out what those things are, time to figure out who you are and time to sort through it all. Don't get me wrong, you still have the ability to be happy and find joyous moments throughout this adventure we call life, but I do think it’s a journey of trial and error to find what makes you find your true joy. A joy that stays and makes itself comfortable.
Put in THE work
Free yourself from limiting behavior and negative beliefs. Your beliefs create your world. It’s time to identify these beliefs and behaviors and exchange them for more positive beliefs, and to start creating the world in which you wish to live. At the end of the day, you alone are responsible for bringing joy into your life. It all begins with your perspective.
Give yourself permission
You're busy. Your mind is cluttered. If you're so overwhelmed with life that you don't have time to think about what brings you joy, then you are way too busy. You both need and deserve to take some time for yourself. This critical time will assist you in unloading the burdens of everyday life, hence helping you find THE joy. If you need some assistance, there’s a little place I know that could help you to slow down: www.thepearlspa.com
Practice giving yourself permission to focus on what brings you joy. Let’s say for example it’s
swimming. Start by practicing thinking about swimming for just two minutes a day for a week. The following week take 10 minutes to write down why you love it. When you're ready, maybe next week, maybe next month, take 20 minutes for yourself and actually swim without thinking about anything else. Completely immerse yourself in the joy of swimming. This practice of giving yourself permission to bring focus to something you love will start to bring positive changes to other areas of your life as well…try it and you'll see
Let yourself dream
This is a biggie. Spend some time imagining what joy would feel like, how you would experience it, what it looks like, how it would change your life. Imagine yourself joyful. Begin telling your mind about joy and it will begin looking for it.
Find your tribe
Surround yourself with like-minded people. Connect with the right people, the kind who experience joy themselves. Connecting with other joy seekers vastly improves the joy in your own life.
Surrounding yourself with people that enable your “I'm too busy” lifestyle is counter-productive. Go your own way and be an example for others, maybe you'll start a joy chasing trend.
Expressing your vision, dreams and who you are feels good. Whether you like to write, paint, sing,
dance, knit, garden or any other activity, doing something that taps into your imagination can bring you pleasure and can build your confidence.
Act like a child
No really…act like 5-year-old! Think back to what used to bring you happiness as a child. My favorite thing to remember is waking up at my grandparents the smell of coffee (I even liked coffee back then) and blueberry pancakes. Or playing in the woods and collecting pine cones. Go ahead, go experience those things all over again. Take yourself out to breakfast, splurge on the pancakes and go for a walk outside, forage for pine cones.
Challenge yourself physically
Your body truly is a temple. It can be your epicenter of joy, bringing you places and doing things
you never thought! Moving it, caring for it, using it in strong and empowering ways creates a deep connection within your soul. In addition, the endorphins that physical exercise releases can kick your joy experience into overdrive. Find a physical activity that challenges you to use your full body for a substantial period of time. You may have heard the terms: Yoga Glow or Runner’s High…that’s joy!
Help someone else find their joy
It’s as simple as this:
“Seek to share joy with others, or to make somebody else happy, and you will find your own soul radiant with the joy you wished for another. “
-David O. Mckay
Since I've started focusing on the things that truly bring me joy, I have found that I live more in the present moment and that I find pleasure in the simple, everyday moments in more ways than I could have ever imagined. No matter how your life has been up until now, despite any mistakes you may have made or actions you now regret, you deserve to feel joy. Understanding and believing this changes everything about who you are and how joyful you feel.
Look around this amazing world.
Notice the colors of the flowers, the sky and the trees.
Listen to the sounds of traffic, crickets, and people laughing.
Feel gratitude for these things.
Take a look at how I found joy in my own backyard!