With the years we’ve been experiencing, it may feel like joy comes few and far between. That’s just the thing we must get out of the habit of waiting for joy to come to us and instead seek it. Of course, it can be highly affected and dependent upon the necessities (food, safety, etc.) or mental health, but there are small ways daily we can take our joy back. Adding joy into our daily routine lowers our risk of certain health complications, combats stress, and improves overall well-being. Here are a few strategies to start increasing the joy in your everyday life.
Stop waiting for joy to come to you
We have much more control over our joy than we give ourselves credit for. Yes, bad things will continue to happen that are not within our control. However, we can equally seek joy amid stressful events. This is not to say ignore the negative things we experience because that can lead to other problems, but merely to acknowledge both can be true. We can experience negative events but still find joy in other parts of our life. Pay attention to what you can control and bring you joy, then seek more of them.
Make it part of your daily routine
Being intentional about adding joy into your daily routine can make a significant difference. Create space for small moments of joy in your day-to-day life. Creating space may look like savoring your morning cup of tea or coffee instead of drinking it while you’re doing a million other things. Perhaps, it may look like taking an actual lunch break, if possible, outside (vitamin D is good for the soul). This will bring much more joy than attempting to multitask by working while eating. Making time for joy looks like being deliberate about your time and even scheduling time for it in your calendar.
It’s time for some lifestyle changes
Making joy a habit in your life instead of just an act can make a huge difference. Integrating it into your routine is a start, but receiving lasting effects may mean making some lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes can look like Marie Kondo-ing your space (google her, you won’t be disappointed), altering your workload, or evaluating your relationships. Do you have people in your life who reek of nothing but negativity? Prioritizing your joy may look like loving them from a distance and surrounding yourself with people who feel good. Is your home cluttered, causing distress and possibly some anxiety? Research shows clutter can reduce our ability to focus, worsen mental health symptoms, and cause sleep problems. Spring is on the horizon; get ahead with doing some spring cleaning now by donating those clothes you haven’t worn in years and organizing your space.
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Practice gratitude + appreciate the small things
Acknowledging the joyful experiences we’ve had or presently experience can add to reclaiming our joy. A good practice may look like naming a few things you are grateful for each day. It can be something as small as watching the sunrise or as big as making it out of bed if you’ve been having a rough time. A long-term practice may look like creating a gratitude journal where you write down those thoughts. As mentioned in the blog, journal prompts are a great way to spark creativity. Joy does not have to be a grand gesture unless you want it to be. Acknowledging and appreciating the small things is monumental.