I don't think any of us goes about our day thinking whether or not we're joyful. Maybe we should! Joy is a very powerful state to be in, and can even help us boost our immunity, fight off sickness and support our longevity.
Because the past week has been a rough one for me, I decided to prioritize finding my way back to feeling joyful. With all that's going on, it's easy (for me at least) to slip into negative thought patterns and replay those thoughts over and over until I feel helpless against them.
When I recognize that downward spiral, it's time for a shift. It's important to process emotions, including the so-called "negative" ones like sadness, anger and hurt, but staying in them indefinitely is harmful to our overall well-being.
Here are three easy steps to take when you need to get back to joy.
1. Clear Your Space. This can be physical, mental or even spiritual space, but in this example, let's go with the physical. Time for some Marie Kondo-ing!
Often we don't recognize how much impact a cluttered or messy space has on our capacity to be joyful. Besides being a literal and visual reminder of chaos and disorganization, an unkempt space weighs on us subconsciously, leaving an underlying sense of dissatisfaction.
If you're someone who feels overwhelmed with the thought of clearing your space, start small. Organize that pile of stuff in the corner of your bedroom. Get rid of everything that doesn't belong on your dining room table. Or sweep the dirt from your patio.
Even a small change to clearing your space can help you feel calmer and the act of completing it can bring you joy.
2. Lend A Hand. A lot of people need help these days, and if you're in a position to do so, it can be one of the quickest and most effective ways to regain joy, on top of helping someone else!
Though we are still mostly at home, there are lots of things you can do to help others. Maybe after clearing your space (ahem), give away something you no longer need to someone who could use it. You can list it on your community's FB page, or Nextdoor. Maybe you can grab some extra items for a senior in need on your next grocery run. Or do some virtual volunteering using VolunteerMatch or other online outlets.
This doesn't have to be a big project, either. One of my fave pick me ups is covering the tab for the car behind me in the Starbucks drive-thru. LOL. Just the act of doing something for someone else can bring us joy!
3. You Do You. What do you enjoy? Do it! Anything that you can lose yourself in for a little while can help you regain your sense of joy. Whether it's a tried and true activity, or something absolutely new for you, don't put it off. Prioritize it so you can get back to feeling joyful.
Play a game or do a puzzle with your family. Bake. Read. Build something. Draw, paint, write or craft. Writing this newsletter brings me a ton of joy.
Do whatever engages you in the moment, and you'll come away a little more joyful than when you went in.
Looking for other ways to spark joy and why you should? Check these out: