J is for Joy
What does Joy look and feel like?
Joy is all around us. When I think of joy the first thing that comes to mind is a baby or a child. Think of smiles and laughter. Joy can also be easily seen in our animals. We have a lab named Molly. There is no doubt in my mind that she feels joy when she’s racing across the yard chasing a tennis ball. When Sophie our husky was a puppy I remember her following a butterfly. Not knowing exactly what it was. There was pure joy in her movements as she followed it fluttering along. They feel joy and excitement when we lace up our shoes and pull out the leashes for our daily walk.
I also see joy in my husband. He wakes up singing every morning. Happy and laughing. Seeing and experiencing joy.
Some days I get busy, side tracked, overwhelmed. I fail to see, recognize or feel joy. Other days, I feel joy, its warmth in my veins, like the sun on my face. Songs, smiles and laughter, I’m addicted. I want more. Do you want more joy in your life? Keep reading for some tips to tap into more joy.
J is for Joy – What is Joy
Dictionaries define joy as a feeling; and happiness as a state of being. We talked of happiness a couple of days ago in H is for Happy. If Happy is a state of being and joy is a feeling, what is a feeling?
Let’s take a few minutes and talk about feelings of joy. One of my favorite quotes about Joy is by Fra Giovanni “The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet within our reach, is Joy.”
The quote tells me that things in the world might seem gloomy and I can choose to focus on that…but right there behind it, if I shift my focus, is Joy. I just have to choose to recognize joy, to see it and feel it. The warmth, the excitement, that overwhelming surge of happiness. Well that’s just great, but how do I put it into practice? Make it part of my everyday?
How to Experience More Joy
- See the good, look for what is right versus finding what is wrong
- Make choices about how you spend your time (and who you spend it with)
- Make generosity and kindness part of everyday
- Find time to play
- Smile, laugh and be silly
See the good, look for what is right vs finding what is wrong
Realize you are not Colombo, or any other detective. Look for what is right and good in life. Stop looking for the negative, the mistakes or just looking for things that don’t add up. Unless of course you are a detective and that’s your job. Choose to see the positive.
As a society, I think we have gotten so focused on proving ourselves and showcasing what we have to offer that we are quick to point out errors or flaws in everything. Just stop. Countless mothers overtime have taught children that if they didn’t have anything nice to say not to say anything at all. Put it into practice. Look for the good, see the positive. If you are looking for good things, you will see them. Good things will bring you more joy.
Make choices about how you spend your time (and who you spend it with)
Be intentional about your time. Spend it doing things that fit with your purpose, your goals and everyday things that make you happy. Learn to say no, set boundaries. We all have friends or family that we love to spend time with. Yes, we do sometimes do things we don’t want to in support of family and friends. Supporting friends and family doesn’t mean we have to attend every event or accept every invitation. Many times when we commit to too many things we are to busy to notice the beauty around us.
Be careful who you spend your time with. We all know people who can be extremely negative, incapable of seeing the good in anything. Be nice, be cordial, but step away. Limit your time with those people, even if you love them. Too much time with negative Ned or Nelly is a recipe for stolen joy.
Make generosity and kindness part of everyday
Be generous and kind, every day. There was a time when I didn’t feel like I had the time to be kind. The resources to be generous. I realized that nothing I was doing was that important. So important that I couldn’t take a second of time to smile or say hello. Smiles, waves, gestures they are all free. They can be an unlimited resource when it comes to generosity and joy.
Find time to Play
I know, you are a busy adult, no time to play… shift your thoughts. Think of what you loved to do as a kid. I ran and rode my bike. As an adult those activities became dreaded “exercise”. Change your attitude and your mind. Make those things fun again. Feel the wind, the sun, the cold, the season. Feel the endorphins, feel the joy!
Smile, laugh, be silly
Smile for yourself. Smile for others. Something about smiling can change your whole perspective… try it, .do it right now. That’s it, feel good? You never know, a smile to another person can help them too. Encourage them if they are in doubt or afraid. Remind them that they aren’t alone. Laugh and be silly with those that you love. Nothing can bring a smile and joy faster than a belly laugh.
Do you have specific actions that you take to bring more joy to your life? I’d love to hear about them! Please leave a comment and share how you find your joy everyday!
If you have been following the A to Z Challenge, you will notice I’ve fallen a bit behind. As often happens life got in the way! I’m committed to finishing my 26 Days to a Better Life, it just may not be done by the end of April. Thanks for your understanding and stay tuned!