Remember when you were a little kid, and being joyful was a natural thing?
I’ve had more than a few conversations with people about joy lately. And the subject has got me thinking about how little joy we experience in our day to day lives. We rarely talk about enjoying things, or starting projects for the pure joy of it, instead, everything is about the “learning” or the “practical implications.” Even our day to day language is crowded with statements like controlling our stress or dealing with anxiety.
- When did we stop being joyful and start focusing solely on controlling our stress?
- Why do we not allow ourselves to think about being joyful anymore?
- Is it still possible to do things only for the joy of it? Or are we doomed to a life of practical actions?
5 Ways To Start Being Joyful In Life
Life Is Supposed To Be A Celebration
Life is hard and often complicated, but does it need to be joyless too? I’m convinced that life should be a celebration. Look at all the natural beauty we’re surrounded by and then tell me that we should be living a life of drudgery.
But to break ourselves out of the modern mindset of joyless living, we need to make the decision to start being joyful. We can choose to continue living a passionless, practical life that leads us to days filled with anxiety and stress. Or we can choose to add moments of joy into our lives. But how?
Let’s explore 5 ways to start being joyful in life.
Joy lives in the present. Our lives are full of distractions that keep us from engaging with the small joyful moments that are present in the everyday. When you take your dog for a walk but have your face buried in your phone, what are you missing? Is anything on your Facebook feed able to bring you the joy that watching your dog chase balls with abandon could? There is a myriad of ways that we distract ourselves from the present. Joy is not a huge event or big thing that slaps us in the face with its presence; instead, it’s made up of little things, small moments that touch our hearts and bring smiles to our faces.
For the next few days, practice these small things:
- Take short outdoor walks with your family or friends, or alone. Leave your phone at home and use the time to look around you. Observe leaves on trees, flowers in your neighbour’s yards, listen for the sound of birds and smile at every dog you pass. When you return home, take a moment to check in with your mood and notice any changes.
- Choose 2 evenings a week to switch off from all devices. Let people know that you are unavailable on those evenings and plan to do something for the pure joy of it. It could be as simple as sitting down to watch a movie with your family, or something as complicated as learning a new macrame pattern. Whatever you choose, the point is to give your full and undivided attention to it. Be fully present in the moment and open your heart to each small moment of joy.
- Being joyful requires you to be present, notice when you slip away from the present and start dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Gently bring yourself back to the moment by focusing on your breath, and feeling gratitude for each inhale and exhale.
Being joyful And Being Silly.
When you were a kid, playing outside with your friends, do you remember how it was the silliest things that made you laugh the hardest?
As adults, we get so caught up in doing the right thing that we forget how to be silly. Allow yourself to get caught up in silliness! If you have kids in your life, then you’re lucky, because all you have to do is hang out with them. I promise you, it won’t be long before you’re being joyful over some silly thing.
For those of us without kids, we could try doing something from our childhood. For example; I’ve recently taken up hula hooping. I’m not at all good at it, but trying to master the tricks, and failing, has my husband and me in fits of laughter.
Find something silly to do, even it’s spending 5 minutes making faces at yourself in the bathroom mirror.
Be of Service.
When we give of our time and resources for no reason other than to help someone, it opens us to a kind of joy that we can’t feel on our own. And bringing someone else joy lifts our collective energy.
Pay Attention To Yourself
The connection you have to yourself is the most crucial in life. Being joyful requires us to know what brings a smile to our face. My advice here is to experiment. Try different things and pay attention to what makes you smile or lifts your heart. When you find something that you enjoy doing, simply do more of it.
The act of trying new things will bring fresh energy into your life, breaking you free from stagnation and introducing you to new experiences and new people. So go for it!
Showing Gratitude and Being Joyful Go Hand In Hand
I could wax lyrical about showing gratitude, but I will keep it simple. Gratitude always brings abundance, therefore, focusing on what you are happy about in your life will bring more happiness to you.
Starting a gratitude practice is the easiest route to bringing more joy into your life. Here’s how to start:
- Every morning, think of 3 things you’re grateful for. You can write them down if you wish (check out this post I wrote about journaling) or just hold them in your mind for a moment.
- Each evening, while preparing for bed, give thanks for 3 things that happened during your day.
That’s it, like I said, so simple. But the rewards you will reap for practising gratitude are numerous, the most important one being; you will discover a newfound joy for your life.
Make the decision and watch the joy flow.
The moment you make the decision to focus on being joyful is the moment your journey towards a more joyful life begins.
If you’re looking for more ways to bring joy into your life, I got you. Every fortnight I send an email to my community full of tips on how to live a simpler, more fulfilling and joyous life. I don’t send spam or bombard you with demands to buy my latest product. If you’re keen to live a more joyful life, then pop your name and email into the form below.
Happy joy hunting xxx