People often confuse happiness with joy. Joy is an inside job and a daily choice. By creating practices and rituals that cultivate joy, we can experience far more happiness. The main difference is happiness is always for a reason.
Joy is happiness with no reason. It is a way of being.
“To be joyful you have to be independent of the good and bad opinions of the world, immune to criticism but open to accepting. You have to believe you are below no one but not above anyone either and ultimately fearless.”
~ Deepak Chopra
What you have appreciates in value. if we aren’t thankful for what we already have we will have a hard time feeling authentic joy. You can start by spending only a few minutes every morning. Begin with the simple task of thinking of 5 things you are grateful for. We have so much abundance in our life that we tend to take for granted. Take a few minutes to remind yourself daily.
#2 Cultivate an optimism practice
The challenges of life are going to keep coming. People who think optimistically see the world as a place with endless opportunities. Even challenges can help us grow and deepen in our sense of resolve and purpose. How can we find the best in every situation no matter how difficult or challenging it seems? Look back at a situation that has challenged you emotionally. How did it help you grow?
#3 Comparison is the death of joy
Look at how far you’ve come. The only person to compare yourself to is yourself from your past.
Comparing ourselves to others is toxic and can only bring us self loathing.
#4 Random acts of kindness
When we pour our energy into helping others and doing good in the world in many ways we help ourselves feel better on the inside. What are some tasks or words of kindness can you offer to another today? Start with 3 people today. Even an authentic complement or expression of love will heighten your sense of joy.
#5 Find your Tribe
The most joyous people on the planet surround themselves by people who bring deep and meaningful relationships. There are many ways to creating community or tribe. Book clubs, hiking with friends, skiing clubs, etc. Follow your passions
and there you will find your people.
#6 Develop Tools for Coping
There are an arsenal of coping tools available to us now more than ever. You may be familiar with some and not others such as: EFT, IFS, EMDR, Meditation, breathwork, visualization techniques, and sound healing. It is so important to have healthy strategies for coping with daily stressors in your tool box. It may only take a couple of minutes to create a shift in your day when you have the skills and knowledge.
When we hold on to anger towards another it only creates discomfort and disease in our own body. Learning to forgive is a gift we give ourselves. One example that is highly effective is a practice called “Ho’oponopono”meaning “to make right”. It’s is a beautiful Hawaiian meditation that helps us with acceptance and reconciliation. It reminds us that our reality is something perceived by our mind. In this practice we take “total responsibility” even if we believe the other has caused us harm. By repeating this mantra, we can clean the slate, forgive and let go.
Please forgive me
I love you
By forgiving, releasing and moving on, we heal not only our past trauma but ancestral traumas.
# 8 Do more activities that create flow. Flow is a state in which time feels like it’s standing still. It’s when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task and nothing is distracting you or competing for your attention. Skiing, hiking, writing, chess, painting are all examples of flow state activities.
# 9 Slow Down
Sit in stillness, look around and quiet the mind. By creating a daily meditation practice you can slow down time and truly appreciate the world around you.
# 10 Goal setting
Continue to set new goals for yourself. Magical things begin to happen when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to achieve an outcome. Start with small goals and give yourself a period of time to complete them. Smaller increments of 30 to 90 days will help keep you on track.
# 11 Cultivate a spiritual practice
By cultivating a spiritual practice we become more aware that life and the universe is far bigger than us. Surrendering to the idea that the universe does not revolve around us allows us to see the bigger picture.
#12 Your Body is Your Temple
Recognizing that our health is the most important thing and caring for our body is primary to cultivating joy. Self care is amongst the most important thing we can do to cultivate joy.
When we nurture our body and our mind we set ourselves up for joyous success.
#13 Nature Bathing
A Japanese study found that time spent in nature reduces the blood glucose levels of diabetics by 39.7% more than with indoor exercise. The same study also discovered that certain forest trees omit organic compounds called phytoncides, and inhaling these compounds has been proven to decrease blood pressure and improve immune system functions.
In Japan they call this shinrin-yoku. By stepping into nature we can boost our immune systems and our hearts while lowering levels of stress hormones that keep us wound up tight.
Cultivating joy is a daily and lifelong practice. It creates a ripple effect not only for ourselves but for those who spend time in our presence. When we imagine ourselves radiating light from within, we not only increase our emotional, physical and mental well being, but also the wellbeing of those around us.
Think good thought
Speak kind words
Keep and open heart
And Be the light!