Hello my lovely
Here’s a question for you…
Why is it that in our modern society, actively pursuing joyfulness has taken a back seat?
In this post, let’s discuss why this is, and look at 10 ways to make embracing our joyfulness in life a priority rather than an afterthought.
Why Joyfulness Is So Powerful
People are rarely open to deliberately searching for what makes them happy. Instead, the demands that come with work, relationships, religion to name a few, leave people with the notion that actively pursuing your own joy and happiness is not all that important.
It’s almost as if these two powerful emotions are an afterthought, something left to chance. If you happen to stumble upon them great…but otherwise, life has too many issues to warrant the time trying to find your ‘happy place’.
But…a holistic approach to health and wellness indicates how crucial it is to live a life full of joy. After all, a happy mind is a healthy mind.
Joy will obviously mean different things for different people, but its effects have a common powerful impact on your life. For some, joy comes as a result of reaching milestones or acquiring new things. Maybe a new pet, a new outfit, a new car or house, a new job, or a long-awaited promotion, etc.
Nothing wrong with these.
For others, it can come in the form of awaited expectations finally being met. You can experience joy from passing a driving test, making new friends in unexpected places, traveling, or answered prayers for those that are spiritual. For some, joy is found in the company of family or friends, and for others, joyfulness can be found in the comfort of their own solitude.
Whatever the motivation, the impact it has on your mind will be substantial, and possibly life-changing. A joyful mind, filled with positivity will enable you to weather the storms that life brings in a much more measured way.
Gone will be the dramatic overreactions we sometimes have when we feel things have got beyond our control. The power of being positive and embracing your joyfulness will temper your reaction, allowing you to see challenges more clearly and react in a more constructive way.
There are also tangible health benefits to being joyful and happy, which is something you may. not have considered. Your immune system is boosted, your mood is elevated due to the release of endorphins (the feel-good hormones) AND, you feel less stressed making you better able to cope.
All good stuff!
Joyfulness Is an Inside Job
Remember the saying “Happiness is a state of mind”? It means we are the root of our own happiness and joy. So let’s quash a myth right now. It’s not someone else’s responsibility to fill you with joy…truly.
I say this not to be mean, but because if you really feel this way you will probably be disappointed.
That’s because no-one else really knows what will bring you joy. They may have an idea based on their own feelings and expectations…but only YOU know. That’s why only YOU can dig deep, uncover, and ultimately embrace your own joy and route to happiness.
This means some soul-searching which is never a bad thing. You will probably find that your outlook has changed over the years. And yes, you may even have thoughts of ‘finding yourself’ in Nepal, setting up a yoga retreat in Bali, or looking for an Antonio Banderas-lookalike in Spain…
Hmm, just as he was in The Mask of Zorro…
Ok Amanda, FOCUS!
Ladies? are you still with me, or did I lose you somewhere?
So, getting back to being serious…
Now that we are past 50, the kids may have moved on, sometimes even the spouse has moved on. It’s natural that we see life and the world around us differently than when we were younger. I know I do.
4 years ago, I suddenly woke up one morning and realized that I didn’t want to keep our house, cars, possessions, bills, career, or even stay in Australia. Totally irresponsible by some people’s reasoning, particularly at our later stage in life…and we were frequently reminded of it!
Nonetheless, I wanted to be free of it all, to live a much simpler life and head off traveling. There was just too much more to see and do in the world, rather than staying in our small town, working a stressful job, and waiting for retirement.
After my own soul-searching, I’d realized that this life-change was what I needed to bring me joy and happiness. Thankfully my husband felt the same way or it would have made for a very difficult conversation! (related post)
My point is, that what will bring us the greatest joyfulness today, is likely to be completely different than a few years ago and you may surprise yourself…but don’t be discouraged.
No-one says our lives have to keep following the same path.
Finding Joyfulness In Your Life Is About Self-Care
Spend some time really delving deep to uncover what you need in your life now that can bring you that wonderful joyous feeling. That total happiness that you may have lost somewhere over the years.
It’s so important to understand what makes you happy so that it can be conveyed to those you love and that surround you. Once they are aware of your feelings they can actively contribute to helping you achieve and maintain your joy and happiness.
AND that’s not selfish!
You are entitled to be happy, fulfilled, and joyous about your life. I think I can safely say this because I’m pretty confident that you feel as I do…now we’re older the years roll by faster than they used to.
Not literally of course, but time slips away, and we ALL have things we want to do in life. Plans to fulfill, places to see, hobbies to learn. It’s corny but true…you deserve to find your ‘happy place’. Everyone does. It may be hiding in plain sight or buried a little deeper but it’s there.
Maybe you need some retrospection and journaling about moments when you experienced the most joy and remembering the sources of that joy. Time to take yourself off somewhere quiet and relaxing so you can reflect on your life so far.
Writing really helps to bring back memories. Possibly it’s something from your childhood that’s long forgotten. Something that can be replicated now as an adult and create a resurgence of wonderful emotions. Or maybe you’ll finally allow yourself to consider new, exciting possibilities that up until now were just a pipedream.
We all have our ‘inner child’, and it has a purpose. Remember, we’re the sum of all our life experiences. They have an important part to play, even if it’s just to make us realize what we DON’T want to repeat.
Obviously, it would be naive to think that we can be joyful every waking moment. The search for our happiness will come with challenges. The trick is allowing yourself to accept that you deserve joy. That every person has a right to it. To not be afraid of looking for it in your memories.
Wouldn’t it be a shame to live a joyless life in anticipation of what could go wrong, just because we feel changing things may upset the applecart? That’s not a constructive or healthy way to live.
Instead, it is essential to find your source of happiness despite trying times. Be deliberate enough with your joyfulness to know that it can help you bounce back from difficult times.
And, oh boy, we’ve all certainly had our difficult times in 2020, and still more to come this year no doubt!
Be Determined to Find Your Joy In Life
Ultimately, your joyful, happy life is attainable once you realize that it’s up to you. It just requires determination to live to the fullest, accepting that defeats and disappointments are unavoidable but they’re just passing phases.
Each deliberate action you take to be happy and positive will reward you and attract nothing but the best. Choose to be deliberate in pursuing a life full of joy.
The first step to enjoying life is getting to know yourself.
Digging deep, even if you haven’t done this in a while (or ever). Learn what makes you happy or what brings an element of fulfillment or satisfaction. Fulfillment naturally leads to a feeling of joyfulness.
A sure way of enjoying life every day is to live life by your own rules. Often, our dissatisfaction, our lack of joy comes from living life on someone else’s terms. We allow other people or society in general to define our existence.
Then we live life according to whatever those definitions are. So we barely get to know what we are all about because the world outside is telling us what we should like, who we should strive to be, what we should attain, with no meaningful input from us.
Yes, the world has some influence on how our lives go, but it’s time to stop the hamster wheel and leap off. We can’t allow it to dictate who we are. There’s never going to be any joy in that.
Once again, this is self-care. It’s putting your needs front and center and it’s essential.
There is a need for boundaries, how far other people’s outlook on life determines who you are or who you become. You can’t live a satisfactory life while seeking only to please other people.
Guard Your Joyfulness At All Costs
It’s super important that once you uncover what brings you joy and satisfaction, guard that state of mind jealously. Do everything you can to keep yourself in an environment that feeds into that joy.
Sure, the world is going to lob curveballs at you, that’s just life…I love a challenge…bring it on! Because once you’ve found your joy, you can handle it.
Protect yourself by avoiding things that could steal your joyfulness.
Know your own triggers. Avoid situations that have the potential to disturb whatever serene environment you have built around yourself? If it’s related to people, it might mean distancing yourself physically to avoid confrontation.
Try to find distinct ways to keep the aura of positivity around you. Some people swear by daily rituals such as meditation, prayer, yoga, and other relaxation techniques that can get you in tune with the core of who you are. Maybe these are worth exploring to help you find your joy and peace of mind.
Discover a daily routine that fits into your belief system and schedule. Something that helps give you a sense of calm before you tackle the challenges of the day. Most of all, invest in your mental health.
Anything that is getting in the way of your joyful peace of mind deserves a swift kick in the backside!
“Happiness is a state of mind, a choice, a way of living; it is not something to be achieved, it is something to be experienced because it comes from inside” – Steve Maraboli.
10 Activities That Can Bring You Joyfulness
Meditation allows you to relax and quieten your mind, giving access to aspects of yourself you haven’t discovered yet. You’ll experience moments of peace and clarity where you can focus within and discover your true sources of joy and happiness.
2. Practice Gratitude
A grateful heart and mind will shift your whole perspective on life. Being thankful for all you have achieved so far in life automatically focuses on the positive. This helps put things in perspective and allows you to avoid being judgmental. When you master the art of being grateful even in challenging times you will always be able to find a joyful moment.
3. Random Acts of Kindness
There is a special joy that comes from helping others unconditionally, without the expectation of anything in return. We know that so many people could benefit from some care and attention.
Joy has a moral compass…it’s not just about the feel-good moments. It’s deeper than that, and it can override so many negatives in us that both you and the person you help will benefit.
4. Seek Out Adventure
Learning something new daily or revisiting something you used to love can be a source of great joy. Try new things, visit new places, get involved in something new…what’s the worst that can happen? If you don’t like it, try something different. Be adventurous!
5. Find Your Purpose
Sometimes as we get older, we lose our purpose, particularly once our children have flown the nest. We spent all those wonderful years being a mother and now what? But life has other things in store for you. We all have changing purposes as life moves through its phases. Find what lights you up and immerse yourself in it. Find your joy in your passion.
6. Make Time For Self-Care
Self-care. Here’s that wonderful saying again. Treat yourself. Revel in the joy you’ll experience from indulging in the things that make you feel special, feel cared for. Don’t wait for others to provide this. Learn to unashamedly spoil yourself…you’re worth it!
7. Revel In The Joy of Nature
There’s something extremely joyful about enjoying nature in all its glory. Make time to walk through long grass, watch the sunset or sunrise. Paddle barefoot in a stream. Read a book under an old tree and bask in the peace and quiet. Maybe even include a picnic for one.
8. Spend Quality Time with Loved Ones
Being around the people we truly love will bring out the best version of you. Spending time with good friends and family is rejuvenating and can give you a joyful boost, particularly if the world is seeming desperate and unfriendly to you at the moment.
9. Connect with Your Spirituality
Whether this is an organized religion, a philosophy, or a feeling of connection to the universe. Spending some time in prayer, meditation or nature will uplift you and bring the joyfulness that peace of mind and connecting with something greater than yourself can deliver.
10. Take Action Towards an Important Goal or Aspiration
Set your intention to achieve a goal for your future. It could be travel, a hobby, learn a new language, go back to study. It’s important for you to have goals and purpose and put actions in place to make them happen.
Be intentional about your activities. Take a leap towards your goal because even if you fail, there is joy in the process of striving to achieve, not just in the achievement itself.
As the world endures this devastating pandemic, bringing so much uncertainty and fear, we need to embrace joyfulness more than ever.
Your state of mind is so important for the resilience to maintain optimism about life, love, human nature, and the promise that the future holds.
Once you find what brings you joy, contentment, and happiness, you will have uncovered a powerful tool to see you through whatever life can throw at you.
Here’s to your wonderful joy-filled life.