Fifteen Ways to Experience More Joy Every Day
A joyful life is arguably the best existence we could hope for. Living with more joy gives us more positive energy, helps us enjoy each moment more and inspires us to look ahead with higher hopes.
And while that may sound simple, it doesn’t always feel simple. There are times in our lives when joy can seem absolutely elusive. Yet each of us does have the power to choose which paths we take. We have the ability to become more aware of how we respond to what life brings us along the way. And with practice, we can make more conscious choices of how to respond – including which thoughts and feelings we choose to focus on.
With summer in full swing, what better time to resolve to find a little more joy in your day-to-day life than right now?
What Sparks Joy?
I was recently flipping back through Japanese decluttering expert Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. She encourages readers to question holding on to anything that does not “spark joy.” It got me thinking about how fundamental the feeling of joy is in our lives. Perhaps more important than just about anything else.
In my work with clients, we spend time looking at what success means to them, to their organization and to their business. Most have already achieved a level of success. They’re looking to take things to the next level, to gain some balance or to make a pivot in their work or their overall life. When we begin to peel back the layers of goals like making more money, building a strong reputation, increasing influence or growing a client base, we begin to uncover what is beyond these things. We begin to uncover what they wish to feel and experience in their lives.
For many of us, beneath the search for money, fame or influence – success as society might define it for us – is something deeper. For instance, having more than enough money can bring a sense of freedom and achievement. Having a solid reputation can bring great meaning and fulfillment. Influence means you can achieve a greater impact.
In almost every instance, if we dig deep enough, clients are looking for an experience or feeling. Those feelings usually include more happiness, joy, freedom, meaning or connection. The experiences usually include more free time or adventure, time to travel, time for personal pursuits or time to spend with family and friends.
Perhaps it comes as no surprise that joy or happiness is usually pretty high up on the list. Joy is what makes life enjoyable. It can help us move through challenges. It can help illuminate the shadows and lighten the darker times in our lives.
Joy literally heals; it inspires us to stretch beyond what we believed was possible for ourselves, it fills our moments with meaning and it results in us enjoying our days more.
With that in mind, finding more joy is no joke! It’s not only important for each of us, it’s something that we all deserve to experience.
Here are 15 ways to access more joy on a daily basis:
- Play more. If you haven’t played in a while, what did you love to do as a kid? Do that. Or just play with a kid. Most children are experts at fun and joy.
- Spend time in nature. Get outside. Take a walk in the park, sit by the ocean or go for a hike in the mountains. Watch the sunrise or sunset. Pause to appreciate the incredible beauty that nature provides. Allow yourself to be inspired by it.
- Laugh. Just laugh and smile for a few minutes. Even if you’re not feeling in the mood, you’ll find that practicing laughing shifts your experience.
- Tell a new story. We all have a story we tell ourselves about ourself and our lives. What’s your current story and how does it make you feel? If it doesn’t make you feel good when you tell it, perhaps it’s time for a new story. Find a version of your story that makes you feel inspired. Can you find a more positive perspective?
- Practice gratitude. Choose to be grateful for what you have in your life right now. Every day count at least 3 things you are truly grateful for – or write a short but sincere thank you letter to someone you appreciate.
- Meditate. Spend time connecting with yourself and your own inner guidance. Call it intuition or gut instinct. We all have this innate ability. As with anything, it takes practice to get better at hearing it. Surrender to what is greater.
- Travel. This planet is filled with incredible diversity, wonder and once in a lifetime experiences. You don’t have to go far to enjoy the adventure and experience the wonder of exploring and experiencing a new place.
- Be romantic. Kiss your partner a little longer than usual, buy flowers for you both to enjoy, go watch the sunset together, have a candlelit dinner.
- Exercise. Move your body doing something you enjoy. Walk, jog, play tennis, swim. Sweat a little. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins that can trigger positive feelings.
- Listen to music and dance. Dance like nobody’s watching. If you really can’t dance, just move to the music in whatever way you feel drawn to.
- Connect. Connect with friends, family and loved ones. Spend time with people you like and trust. Allow yourself to be authentic, share your vulnerabilities.
- Lose yourself in a good book. I have a fond memory of a simple but joyful moment one summer weekday afternoon: after a full day working with teams in a corporate office, I turned off all devices and gave myself the luxury of several uninterrupted hours of reading a good piece of fiction.
- Volunteer. Find a way to be of and in service to others. Giving and being in service tends to make us feel better.
- Prepare a delicious meal. Give yourself the time to truly enjoy the experience of preparing your food. Share the meal with a friend, partner or loved one.
- Get rid of stuff. In homage to Marie Kondo, clear your clutter. Donate, discard or sell those things that you do not use and which don’t bring you joy. It’s a powerful way to lighten your spirits and leaves you with less stuff to take care of day in and day out. While you’re at it, it may be time to do some spring cleaning of old beliefs that are holding you back in some way as well.
With summer in full swing, what better time to resolve to find more joy in your day-to-day life than right now?
How do you find joy day to day? I’d love for you to share your thoughts and experiences.
If you enjoyed this post and would like help setting yourself up for more success, contact me directly to see if you qualify for a complimentary strategy session.
You can also learn more about me, read more blog posts, download free tips to create a business and a life you love, or check out the stories of people who have worked with me.