10 Ways to Choose Joy Today

What does it mean to enjoy life?  I mean, I realize it’s different for everyone, but is there a single ingredient that we all need?  Is there a simple rule that we can follow that will apply to ALL of us?  I think that whoever you are, whatever you do or believe, or experience, there is one common thread for all of us.  And that is to choose joy.  We all need to choose joy.

For some of us that means chasing it down.  For some of us it means opening our eyes to what it actually is because we’ve been looking right past it, and for some it means sitting still long enough to know it’s already here.  But, for all of us it’s about making a choice.  So, come with me on a journey to find and choose joy today!

Where to Choose Joy

Question.  What would make you excited to get out of bed in the morning?  This doesn’t have to be for a job (if it is, brilliant!).  You know those questions ‘if you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?’, or ‘If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring one thing with you, what would it be?’.  Those questions that make you really think about what you love?  This is along the same lines.

I mean, let’s be honest, we wouldn’t jump out of bed to catch the train to a job we don’t love, would we?  But, we might jump out of bed, excited for our day if we were: backpacking through Europe, signed up for our first sky dive, hosting a weekend retreat for women or breeding horses somewhere etc etc.  This is about the fire in our bellies.  If you want to live a life you love, you have to choose joy.  Choose those things that get you super excited every time!  With that said, here are 10 areas where you can start to look for your own version of joy.

1. Joy through Gratitude

This isn’t no.1 by accident.  Gratitude is quite literally the fastest and easiest way to tap into joy in your life.  It’s the instant fix you’ve been looking for!  When we focus on what we have, we expand our hearts and shift into a beautiful, loving state.  The feeling created within our beings when we focus on gratitude overshadows those icky feelings of lack and emptiness every time!  Gratitude is a superpower!

Take a good look at your life because there’s a LOT to be grateful for.  You can start a gratitude journal (read my blog Using a Gratitude Journal to Change you Mindset) or you can set an alarm to remind you to list 3 things every day.  This practice will help you become more aware of the joy in your life.

2. Joy through Mindfulness

Mindfulness is really all about being more present.  Paying attention to life in the moment.  I challenge you to pay attention to the details of your life without becoming more joyful.  How on earth can paying attention help you choose joy?  Well, there’s a difference between picking up a pen to write with and pick up a pen to marvel at the intricacy of its design, colour and useability.  This is about allowing yourself to marvel at the brilliance of this world.

Go out and look. I mean really look.  At the birds, the ladybirds, the trees.  Look at the beauty of their design.  Look at the wings on the ladybird, the patterns on the leaves.  Pay attention to the splendor around you.  It is a truly joyful experience just to be alive, when you sit up and pay attention.

3. Joy through Positive Thinking

Attitude is everything, right!  It’s impossible to be unhappy if you are focused on the good in the world.  Do what it takes to focus your energy on the good that is happening in your life and in the world.  Instead of where you are falling short, think about where you have grown, where you CAN grow.  How far you’ve already come.  Focus on your healthy habits, relationships, goals etc.

Whether you choose to listen to uplifting music and tv or you put affirmations up everyday to keep you focused on staying in a positive frame of mind, these are ALL great ways to keep yourself motivated.

4. Joy through Inspiration

As I mentioned at the start of the blog, one of the best things you can do is to chase after those things that inspire you.  Music, art, hikes in the wilderness, it doesn’t matter!  Just find what makes you smile inside.  What makes you think ‘this is what life is all about’.  Don’t let ‘adulting’ stop you from playing!  Find what get’s you motivated and loving life and find a way to inject more of that into your life.

Write a list of as many activities as possible that inspire you in life.  Call it your Joy List.  When you find yourself feeling uninspired, refer back to this list to remind yourself of how much there is in life that gives you that kind of joy that you’re looking for.

5. Joy through Self-Care

A great way to choose joy is to treat yourself with love.  Care for yourself.  Nurture yourself.  Do something that makes you feel loved. Giving yourself love is a beautiful way to experience joy.

Whether you buy yourself flowers, get your nails done, or take a day off to lie on a beach somewhere and read a book., do something for you!  Find a way to feel pampered and special.

 

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6. Joy through Service

This is one most people don’t realize is actually so powerful.  Think of a time when you helped someone.  It can be with anything from carrying groceries to helping with homework to teaching your daughter to bake her first cake.  How did it feel to help? It felt good, right?

Now take this philosophy into your work day.  Go into the world with the intention of just being there to help humanity and see how it brings joy into your life.  The really beautiful thing is, it’s contagious!  Your kindness will spread like wildfire.

7. Joy through Nature

Maybe I didn’t need to list this one, I mean I’ve personally never met anyone who wouldn’t immediately list nature as an obvious choice.  But, sometimes there’s someone who just needs a reminder, so this is for you!  Get out!  Don’t forget about the boost that you get from nature.  Nature is the real deal and if you’ve been feeling down, I guarantee that being in nature will help, so find your little pocket of joy out there among the trees.

Find some way to really connect with nature.  Sand between toes, feet in water, sea-spray in face!  There is an inexplicable sense of comfort and love that we get from connecting with nature and it’s a winner everytime.

8. Joy through Laughter

When we’re in a funk we’re stubborn aren’t we?  We want to hold onto our grumpiness.  Laugh?  Fat chance, I’m too busy being in a mood.  Well, how’s that working for you?  Like all the other items on this list laughter is a choice.  You can shift your mood and claim your joy by making a choice to find humour in life.

Yes, it might mean having to resort to watching bad comedy or Epic Fails videos, but that’s ok!  Just allow your body the pleasure of a good old laugh, it will be worth it.

9. Joy through Connection

There is nothing like true connection.  Key word there being true!  We’ve become really, really bad at this and then we wonder why we’re searching for more joy.  Sad, true, and fixable!  We are out of practice, yes, but we’re still naturally social beings and we can reclaim our connections today.

Make an effort with friends and family today!  IN PERSON!  Sit across the table from someone and see their beautiful soul shining out from behind their eyes.  Connect!  It will shower you in joy!

10. Joy through Achievement

This one may seem out of place but bear with me.  This isn’t about success or ‘being the best’ at anything.  This one is about being proud of your efforts.  It’s about recognizing how far you’ve come and celebrating your wins along the journey.  This is about choosing to be joyful in the journey.

We are quick to find fault in everything we do and slow to look back and marvel at how much we’ve accomplished, so take a moment to reflect on what you have achieved in business as well as in your personal life.

Steph x

If you enjoyed this blog, head over and check out this one: Finding Joy in the Little Things

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