There are many reasons to bring more joy into your life – when you feel joyful, you naturally feel more confident and fulfilled, which benefits your entire body and mind.
Research has shown that people who are more joyful even have a reduced chance of having a heart attack. They also tend to have lower cholesterol, more optimal blood pressure levels, decreased stress and are able to manage their weight better.
So how can you find more joy in your life?
If you’ve been living without joy, your first step to bringing it into your life is envisioning how it feels. Imagine in detail what the experience of being joyful is like, and how it might change your world. The more you envision the experience, the more you’ll bring it into your life.
Find joy in nature
It’s easy to get so caught up in the multitude of daily responsibilities that you forget to make time for nature. Getting outdoors and getting fresh air by taking a walk in the woods, on the beach or in any scenic area can bring great joy into your life. If you have a dog, watch how excited he is when he’s exploring the world outside, and try to cultivate that same enthusiasm for nature.
No matter what your talents, skills or desires, getting creative is a great way to find joy. Whether you write, draw, sing or decorate a cake, developing a skill that utilizes your imagination is sure to bring immense pleasure.
Make a list of what makes you joyful
Writing a list of the things that you make feel happy and joyful, and keeping it with you, is a good way to trigger those feelings as well as to remind yourself to do things that bring joy to your life more often. Strive to write down at least 10 things, the more the better, and then try to incorporate those things into your daily life.
Bringing joy to someone else, by going out of your way to make them feel good, automatically brings more joy into your life. It doesn’t have to be anything big; even just smiling at people who cross your path or paying a small compliment will do the trick.
Escape from the chaos
Every once in a while, it’s important to take time for yourself and disconnect from everyday life, getting away from all of those demands and stimulation. When we nurture ourselves, joy comes much more easily. Schedule time alone away from distractions like electronics, and do something that allows your mind, body and soul to feel pure joy, whether it’s meditating, taking a bubble bath or getting a massage.
Play like a child
Remember what it was like to play as a child? Many of those things that brought you pleasure then still can today – but as a grown up, we often lose touch with that. Think about what made you happy when you were six or seven. Rolling down a grassy hill? Playing with your dog? Dancing to silly music? Give yourself permission to experience that again.
Spend more time with joyful people
Studies have shown that happiness is contagious. In fact, a 20-year Harvard Medical School study found that if you’re happy, you can thank your friends, their friends, and their friends’ friends, because happiness is something that spreads through social networks like an emotional contagion. By spending more time with happy, joyful people, you’re much more likely to exhibit those feelings yourself.
Challenge yourself physically
You probably already know that exercise helps to release endorphins, otherwise known as “feel good” hormones – they can naturally make you feel more joyful. Try kicking it up a notch by challenging yourself to accomplish a particular fitness or activity goal. It’s extremely empowering, and can help to forge a deep connection within your soul.
Keep your mind challenged too
Joy springs from a healthy body and mind, which is why it’s important to keep yourself mentally stimulated. Engage in as many ways possible to keep your brain active, whether it’s taking part in new experiences like traveling to a new destination, reading, learning a language or doing puzzles – there are practically endless options for waking up your mind, bringing more joy to your life.
By consciously choosing to bring more joy into your life, you might be surprised to find how easily it flows in!
-The Alternative Daily