To me, joy is life force. It’s like the power that some days fuels me up to go that extra mile. Or, on other days, just makes my life worth living. To me, joy is serious business :D. It’s something I know I have to actively choose, and time and time again remind myself to prioritize.
Joy–a feeling of growth
I’d define joy like the bubbly feeling in your tummy when you are jumping on a trampoline, the split second you’re in the air by the breaking point from going upwards to going downwards… or like the sensation in your body sliding down a hill on skis when it’s just the right leach to challenge you a little bit…
OR like when you manage to do something hard, something you never thought you could pull off. That sensation of being surprised, in a good way.
In that way joy truly is a feeling of growth. It’s the feeling that appears when you have moved just outside your comfort zone and realize that you are going to be okay anyway :D. You have expanded to become a bigger version of yourself.
But there are other pathways to joy than just doing things that scares you. Here are some of my joy infusing favorites.
5 tips to get more JOY into your life
- Make a joke, or pass a good one on to another person
To compose a joke in a text to a friend is a true joy booster. Or why not call them and tell it to them like in the good old days? Sharing something joyful amplifies the feeling of joy within you. Just make sure that the joke is on you, if it is on anybody ;).
- Keep count of comical situations
Choosing to look for the comic in the situations you encounter is another way to enhance that joyful feel. Our brains work that way, that if we look for something, let’s say red cars, and we count them, we see red cars more often. That works for reasons for a good laugh too!
- Be grateful
Yeah I know, you might feel sick and tired of hearing about this gratefulness-thing being so great. Or maybe you haven’t heard about it. Either way, it can feel a bit weird and superficial to construct gratefulness instead of just letting it come to you naturally…
The thing is, that when we are stressed, it doesn’t come naturally. And by focusing on gratitude we hijack our brains to get out of that narrow minded way of operating. We get access to a larger piece of our brain… a lot more peaceful and happy state to function from <3
This is what you do: appreciate the joy you have felt in your past. It could be fun memories from today, a couple of years ago, or as a kid. Close your eyes and feel it just as if you were there right now, in that moment. This will bring more joy into your life for sure, both while you close your eyes and feel it. And from now on, in ways you can’t predict.
Smile even though you have nothing special to smile about. It doesn’t have to be this gaze attracting, tooth showing grimace on your face. Just lift the corners of your mouth slightly upwards in a loose, relaxed way. It can take some practice making it feel natural, but it will eventually.
It’s actually through the meditation teacher Tara Brach and her guided meditations that I have learned that when we smile it automatically makes our bodies more at ease. The brain signals, through the central nervous system to the rest of our body, that everything is alright. When we are in a state of ease, we are more inclined to feel joy.
- Choose pleasure
Do I even need to say it? I mean, imagine you do that thing you love… go dancing or riding a bike, or playing tabletop games with some friends if you like that sort of stuff… Automatically your joy-levels will increase. Of course they will! 😀 Maybe it will take a couple of times for you to feel like you used to when you did those things a lot. Especially physically demanding things that you haven’t done for a while… well, they can make you feel a bit out of shape initially :/. But I bet a spark of joy is in there somewhere when you do it. Do it more often, and you will see yourself as a joyful person!
Infusing more joy into your life so that you are more satisfied with yourself will make you such a treat to be around. The reason is that when you’re contempt with your way of living, you won’t feel the need to question others. You’re good. And that is just such a nice energy to hang out with.
So for all our sakes, head out and choose joy, today, tomorrow, and forever more.